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.
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
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!
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. I'm hoping I get my strength back to kick off about this.