In December, I acquired a letter from the Student Loans Company (SLC) telling me I used to be as a result of end repaying my student loan inside the subsequent yr, and that I wanted to vary my cost plan to keep away from overpaying. I known as and was advised that an error on my account was stopping them seeing my steadiness, in order that they weren’t in a position to inform me how a lot I nonetheless wanted to repay, or focus on my choices. When I logged on to the portal on-line to test my steadiness it stated: “This service is not available for your account.”
Despite calling each month since, nothing occurs besides that the SLC takes greater than £1,000 from every payslip and my steadiness continues to be a thriller. On a few of these calls, they’ve advised me that HM Revenue and Customs handles the payslip deductions and the error is on its aspect. HMRC says it offered all the knowledge requested by SLC in January, and hasn’t had any additional enquiries. With a mortgage and marriage ceremony this yr, I may do with out the SLC sitting on probably 1000’s indefinitely.
You seem to have fallen sufferer to that widespread company pitfall – “system improvements”. SLC has been overhauling its processes to permit, amongst different issues, extra frequent data-sharing with HMRC, and an internet compensation service. Hitherto, compensation notifications had been handed by HMRC to SLC yearly on the finish of every tax yr. Now prospects can discover their present steadiness by way of the Online Repayment Service.
Or that’s the speculation. In follow it appears SLC buyer providers are totally confused. SLC says that if, on the finish of the tax yr, the compensation figures from HMRC don’t tally with these of SLC, a buyer’s entry to the web account is restricted whereas the anomaly is thrashed out. “In this instance, SLC could not reconcile the end-of-year repayments that we received from HMRC,” it says. “We received two files from its automated process that appeared as two sets of repayments, by two different employers. “On investigation, it appears that both returns are from a single employer, but one was made in error. When the customer inquired about this issue, we failed to explain this clearly, or to provide appropriate support.”
You had been advised that as a result of errors at HMRC’s finish it was unattainable to view your steadiness. Moreover, whereas I used to be advised two duplicate returns had been acquired out of your employer, you had been advised your employer was innocent. Miraculously, as quickly as I intervened, SLC was in a position to entry your account and make sure that you simply nonetheless owe £2,022, which you propose to repay as a lump sum to keep away from the danger of overpayments in future. HMRC advised me it made no errors however didn’t want to remark.
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