Student Loans Company Fuck up

(5 Posts)
coveredinhopeandvaseline Sun 17-Jul-16 11:31:12

Back story:
In 2011, my husband received a student loan for a Biology PGCE in Oxford which he did not apply for (hasn't done Biology since GCSE in 1997!)...paid into the account his previous student loans had gone into years before. He immediately contacted SLC in order to pay it back and have it, and the associated tuition fees loan scratched from his student loan amount.
The SLC refused to discuss it, wouldn't return calls or letters regarding the matter. Husband was buying a house at the time so just moved the money into an ISA, with the intention of dealing with it at a later date.

Intermittently, over the years that followed, he has contacted them various times by phone or in writing, ignored or brushed off every time with "Oh, we'll contact you when we speak to the appropriate people etc"...then nothing.

He eventually got fed up and sent a letter by recorded delivery about 8 weeks ago, had the proof they'd received it and waited a few days for a response...then finally he got a call from SLC where they basically said "Forget about it, keep the money...it's the only interest free loan you'll ever have etc" and that it would just remain on his student loan total balance, to be paid off in the usual way the rest of the SL is paid. So we thought, "Oh, alright then, we can dip into it for some home improvements".

Last week they sent him a letter saying he'd been overpaid, university had informed them he's withdrawn from his studies (the studies he never applied for 5 EFFING YEARS AGO) and that he now has to repay the overpayment?!

Granted, we haven't used much of the loan on home improvements and can afford to pay it back. But there are some points we are really uncomfortable with and would like clarification on first:

1: How did this money arrive in his account when, not actually applying for it aside, you need to have your attendance confirmed by the university after matriculation, where they scan the barcode on your payment letter?

2: Where as the money gone that was paid to University of Oxford for tuition fees for a student who never applied.

3: Why have they refused to engage with us for 5 years, then finally tell us to keep it and now demand it back?

4: Where is the paperwork/evidence to show he applied for it in the first place?

PokemonGo Sun 17-Jul-16 16:15:53

Oh dear, that is a mess.

I think your DH was a bit silly to couldn't on any advice that was given over the phone. I would have persevered and got it sorted out when it first happened. I know they can be a nightmare but I would have felt uncomfortable having the money around.

Im not sure the best way to go about it but in future I'd only send recorded delivery (or whatever it's called) letters.

Good luck - it must be very irritating.

PokemonGo Sun 17-Jul-16 16:16:23

Typo..Rely not couldn't

LunaLoveg00d Sun 17-Jul-16 16:25:08

Financial Ombudsman.

www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk/

Batboobs Sun 17-Jul-16 16:41:44

I honestly wish you good luck in dealing with them, there is no communication between departments and their staff often seem ill informed, so you may as well disregard what you are told by any one person...they are pretty hopeless.

I received a letter this year, 4 years after graduating, stating that I owed well over 1k in grants due to 'overpayments'. I've been through all my paperwork from that time, and simply do not believe it to be the case, yet every time I have tried to contact them I have had a completely different jumbled up explanation of why I owe this money, and no reason at all why it has taken them so long to notify me. I believe it to be some kind of system error on their part, but all the arguing I have done has got me nowhere.

I have given up fighting and am now begrudgingly on a payment plan, paying back the bare minimum. I don't think given the circumstances outlined in your post that you will get away without paying it back, and in all likelihood they will send it to debt collection if you fail to co operate.

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