HC Deb 20 January 2004 vol 416 cc1129-30W
Mr. Willis

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills pursuant to his statement of 8 January 2004,Official Report, column 418, on higher education (student support), whether the student loan repayment to be written off after 25 years applies to all money owed to the Student Loans Company. [148267]

Alan Johnson

[holding answer 19 January 2004]:Under the student support proposals announced by my right hon. Friend on 8 January, the Government intend to write-off outstanding student loan balances 25 years after graduates enter liability to repay their loans, which is from the April after graduation. This policy will apply to those entering HE from 2006 and graduating in 2009 and cover both maintenance and fee loans.

Mr. Cousins

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the age limit is on eligibility for student loans; and how he proposes to change that in the event of a repayment period capped at 25 years. [149636]

Alan Johnson

The age limit is 50 for eligible students meeting the residence requirements. Those aged 50 to 54 at the start of their course can also apply for a student loan provided that they plan to return to work after finishing their course. We have no plans to change the age limits.

We already cancel loans when a borrower reaches the age of 65. We also intend to put a 25 year cap on the loan repayment period, so that outstanding loan amounts are written off after 25 years (or age 65, whichever is the earlier).