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Being chased for repayment and hassled on a Sunday, is this fair?

(19 Posts)
ThatBintAgain Sun 11-Nov-12 13:29:31

I moved house a year ago and forgot to tell the Student Loans people, genuine oversight. I've updated and successfully deferred my repayments, as I don't earn enough to repay.

Unfortunately I incurred a late payment charge due to not deferring in time and I owe them about £120, and they're hassling me to repay it. So here's my questions:

1. Can they phone me on a Sunday and start threatening to sell the debt to a collector if I don't pay it?

2. Should I have to pay the charge if I can't even afford to repay the loan?

I know that I should have changed my address with them but they just slipped through the net and that's my mistake. But unfortunately, at the moment I can't repay the money, and even repaying at £22 per month for the next 8 months is going to be tricky. My hours were cut recently and I'm struggling each month to pay the bills and not keep going into the red.

Can anyone offer any advice please?

HoneyDragon Sun 11-Nov-12 13:45:30

If you owe the money than yes legally they can call you on a Sunday. Have they tried to contact you previously?

Normally they would reserve a Sunday to try and contact non responsive people?

If you can't afford the £120 in one go than agree a payment plan. That's all that will happen if it goes to a debt collector.

ThatBintAgain Sun 11-Nov-12 13:49:21

Not to my knowledge. I'm already overdrawn and 3wks until payday, so I'm going to struggle to even repay the instalments theyre asking for. sad

HoneyDragon Sun 11-Nov-12 13:52:01

Can you affod the whole lot on pay day at all? or half?

ThatBintAgain Sun 11-Nov-12 13:56:00

They want me to pay £22pm for the next 8 months. I know its not a lot but its another outgoing expense I can't afford. My earnings recently fell by 50% but unfortunately my outgoings did not.

HoneyDragon Sun 11-Nov-12 14:01:42

If they can go for 8 months they can stretch to 12 months. Make sure they know how high your out goings and that you really cannot afford it.

Also double check whether it can be added to the loan until you earn enough to repay? But I think the fines are issued now.

ThatBintAgain Sun 11-Nov-12 14:02:49

Is it even legal to charge me £120 odd quid for being a week late to defer?

HoneyDragon Sun 11-Nov-12 14:08:09

I don't know the legality of student loans any more. It's definitely worth speaking to CAb, or hopefully someone here knows. I can see if I can find more out on Monday

Rockchick1984 Sun 11-Nov-12 14:24:05

1. Yes they can call you on a Sunday.
2. Yes they can make you pay the fine despite the loan being deferred.
3. Yes they can charge you £120.
4. No they can't make you pay more than you can afford. Do an income and expenditure breakdown, and post / email it to them with an offer for repayment based on what you have got left - you can ring somewhere like CCCS to do this, or you can find them online to do it yourself. They can't make you pay money that you don't have, although if you are spending an unreasonable amount on something they can ask you to pay it out of that money smile

HoneyDragon Sun 11-Nov-12 14:40:02

Yes, I've just checked too. The fine has to be paid. So stick to your guns on what you can pay out each month.

InNeedOfBrandy Sun 11-Nov-12 14:42:05

Ring national debt line and they will talk you through on the phone why to write to them.

InNeedOfBrandy Sun 11-Nov-12 14:42:30

What not why

VivaLeBeaver Sun 11-Nov-12 14:44:13

When you took the loan out you'd have signed an agreement about the charge. I know I did.

It's a shitter really. Banks aren't allowed to do excessive charges anymore but it seems other companies can.

ThatBintAgain Sun 11-Nov-12 16:36:38

Thanks everyone. Yeah, it really does seem a bit shady to charge so much. Maybe I'll email Martin Lewis. wink

pixiepoopoo Tue 13-Nov-12 19:28:28

My advice is don't pay them anything. Just carry on deferring the loan. If you don't earn enough to pay the loan back then how can you be expected to pay the equivelent in payments for what was a genuine mistake.
SLC have a complaints system, use it. This was a genuine mistake on your part.
If they threaten you with debt collectors don't be intimidated. Just tell the debt collector you are currently dealing with the SLC complaints system and keep it brief.
If no joy refer it all to the Financial Ombudsman. And your MP!

Good Luck

ThatBintAgain Tue 13-Nov-12 19:38:47

Thank you Pixie. I'm seriously unimpressed and having to pay what is basically a made up fee. This is one of the straws that has now broken the camel's back and I'm off with stress and anxiety now. sad I'm hoping I get my strength back to kick off about this.

ginmakesitallok Tue 13-Nov-12 19:47:36

Just interested to know why you weren't sure whether or not they could contact you on a Sunday? confused

ThatBintAgain Tue 13-Nov-12 20:26:44

I dunno, I just thought people didn't make calls like that on a Sunday. I think ny head's still somewhere in 1989. wink

ThatBintAgain Wed 14-Nov-12 07:38:23

Actually, its £90 arrears (how?!) and an £80 charge! angry

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