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Thursday, May 10, 2018, Issue 123

Help for students affected by loan overpayment errors

Overpayment errors

The Department for Education has promised to support students affected by overpayments in their student bursaries earlier this year.

Additional, non-repayable payments of up to £1,000 and a deferred re-payment scheme have been set up by the Student Loans Company (SLC).

The SLC will be contacting the affected students to arrange provision and the DfE says it has put measures in place to ensure no students are disadvantaged as a result.

The SLC has also agreed to defer the recovery of the overpaid funds until affected students have finished their courses and can afford to repay.

Affected students will be eligible for normal support as per usual in the next academic year.

Students can email discretionary_payments@slc.co.uk for further support.

However, the Royal College of Nursing, which has been leading negotiations on behalf of nurses and AHPs, has said the measures do not go far enough, and maintain their position that the payments should be written off.

Janet Davies, chief executive and general secretary of the RCN, said: "This is a small but welcome recognition of the problem. But it does not go anything like far enough. Students will still struggle to pay bills and childcare costs and they must not be forced to turn to loan sharks or even quit their studies as a result. 

"This was not a problem of their making and we will not let them pay the price. The overpayment mistakes must be written off and they need money this month without a bureaucratic nightmare.

“This announcement lacks detail and we will keep asking the difficult questions until students have the answers.”

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