HC Deb 21 October 2002 vol 391 c38W
Mr. Brady

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what procedures are in place to allow those repaying student loans to obtain up to date balances of the total sum owed. [74309]

Margaret Hodge

Borrowers under the pre-1998–99 scheme of mortgage style loans receive annual statements from the Student Loans Company (SLC) showing what has been repaid and the outstanding balance owed.

For most borrowers under the income-contingent loans scheme, repayments are collected by their employers through deductions from their earnings, with tax and national insurance contributions. These borrowers receive a statement from the SLC after the end of the tax year, once the SLC has received details of what has been collected by the Inland Revenue. As well as the yearly statement, borrowers' payslips contain details of their repayments. If a borrower contacts the SLC, the company can provide an estimate of the amounts that have been repaid and what is outstanding using the information on the borrower's payslips. Borrowers can contact the SLC over the phone for this information.

Self-employed borrowers receive their statements after making their self-assessment return to the Inland Revenue.

The SLC is introducing a service by the end of November 2002 for borrowers under the income-contingent loan scheme who have nearly completed repayment of their loan. Based on a projection of earnings from the borrower, the SLC will tell the Inland Revenue when repayments should stop being collected. This is designed to prevent employers collecting too much and the borrower having to obtain a refund.