More student loans muppetry

OK, not so bad (I hope) as the faff I had with them a couple of years ago. I notice on the new deferment information letter that they’ve actually included a standard regional phone number for people to call on if they’re outside the UK. Credit to them for adding that to the existing premiumlocal rate number.

I’m still struggling with their use of email, though. First of all you have to determine which of the four offices to email – England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland. Is it based on where you are currently registered as residing, where you took the loan out, where the uni is based that you were attending…? This isn’t helped by all the mail coming from the central Student Loans Company in Glasgow (mine always has, even when I was in England) while the actual loans company I’m told to mail with account/address detail changes being in Rotherham.

I checked the English one and it was asking for an ID Code I didn’t have. Or maybe I do. There are umpteen codes all over the letter I got, most of them not actually identified themselves.

So I went for the Scots one as you don’t actually have to register to enter their site like you do for the English one. Again it ask for some Student ID that I don’t know if I have or not, but it’s not mandatory.

My query is a simple one – can I fax my deferment details to someone or do I have to mail them? Between the post here and the post in the UK I just don’t trust it to get there within 14 days.

So I sent my mail and got an auto-response… telling me that they endeavour to get back to all general enquiries within fifteen working days. If you’re appealing, they make it 10 working days but all the same this is completely useless. Even ten working days is effectively the same as 14 celendar days, so by the time you have the information you require (assuming, in fairness, they take the maxiumum length – and they only "endeavour" to stay within that limit) you don’t have time to send your stuff in.

Another victory for bureaucracy.

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Speaking as a person who never had a student loan, I’m quite happy I don’t have to go through this palaver all the time – that said though, it is fun (sometimes) to hear work colleagues groan in anguish at how much money has been taken out of their pay packets.


I’m still not paying mine back. Bizarre thing is that the letter I just got (it changes year to year) says I have to have a gross income of less than £2107 per month to defer. That makes a salary of £25 284 (as an aside, I think that’s lower than last year which makes a change).

Thing is, if you check the web pages, a lot of them say the limit is a flat £15k. Significantly lower!

I was actually advised by a guy at the SLC last year *not* to pay the loan back. The interest I’m earning on having the cash in my savings account is more than the rate of interest on the loan. If I pay it off, it’ll be in a lump sum just to get rid of it.

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