HC Deb 11 March 2004 vol 418 cc1746-7W
Mr. Jenkins

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills when the www.dfes.gov.uk/studentsupport website will carry information on how the Higher Education Bill will change student finance arrangements. [160068]

Alan Johnson

The DIES Student Support website will contain information on any changes to the Higher Education funding regime only after the passage of the Bill and when the detail of the future arrangements have been decided. Until then, information on the possible impact of the Higher Education Bill on student finance arrangements is available on the Department's www.dfes.gov.uk/hegateway website which is dedicated to keeping the public informed on developments around Higher Education reform. A link between the two sites ensures that people can access both information on the current funding regime and proposals for the future.

Chris Grayling

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many graduates have begun to repay income contingent loans in each of the past three financial years. [159850]

Alan Johnson

Repayments of income-contingent loans are collected through the tax system, apart from a few exceptions. Repayments are notified to the Student Loans Company (SLC) after the end of the tax year, after which time has to be allowed for reconciliation with SLC records. Therefore complete data on the number of borrowers with income-contingent loans where repayments have begun to have been made are not yet available.

Borrowers enter repayment status, i.e. are due to make repayments on their loans, in the April after graduating or otherwise leaving their course. No repayments are deducted from income-contingent borrowers whose income falls below £10,000 per year. Borrowers with income contingent loans can also make voluntary repayments, either in the form of pre-payments before they enter repayment status, or ad-hoc repayments to accelerate their repayments after entering repayment status. These repayments are made directly by the borrower to the SLC. The table shows the number of UK income-contingent loan borrowers who have entered repayment status by tax year. It also shows the number who have made voluntary repayments by tax year, and of those the number who have entered repayment status in that year.

2000–01 2001–02 2002–03
Entered repayment status 36,000 66,000 202,000
Borrowers who made voluntary


5,000 12,000 24,000
of which, borrowers in the first year of

entering repayment status

1,000 1,000 8,000
Source: Student Loans Company