Grant and Loan Overpayment Recovery

12 April 2018

We have implemented the system to recover overpayments of maintenance loans incurred from academic year 2017/18 by offsetting them against students’ future funding entitlements as of AY 2018/19.

The new process has been implemented in response to strengthened Student Support Repayment Regulations, and aims to increase recovery of overpayments though a fair, comprehensive and aligned approach to loan and grant overpayment.

The new grant and loan recovery process will be consistent across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Please note that the tuition fee overpayment process remains unchanged in AY 2018/19.

What's changing?

Previously, any grant overpayment made to a student was automatically offset against their future grant entitlement while they were studying. However, maintenance loan overpayments had been handled by a manual process and were often not pursued for ‘in course’ recovery.

The new process aligns the recovery of grant and maintenance loan overpayments, so maintenance loan overpayments are automatically offset against future maintenance loan entitlement.

Maintenance loan overpayments will be recovered from any future maintenance loan entitlements including:

  • a later year of the same course or period of study in which the overpayment was incurred
  • a different course or period of study to the one in which the original overpayment was incurred.

The new process will not apply to Postgraduate Loan overpayments in AY 2018/19 and current repayment regulations apply.

Will loan overpayments be recovered from other types of funding?

No. For AY 2018/19 only same product recovery will be pursued (i.e. a maintenance loan overpayment recovered from maintenance loan).

What if a student leaves their course?

If a student leaves their course with an overpayment remaining, they will be required to repay this directly to us. The regulations require us to collect any overpayments in addition to loans which are already being repaid through salary deductions or through Self Assessment.

We will discuss and agree a repayment plan which is affordable for the customer.

What about students in hardship?

SFE

Students who find themselves in financial hardship can be directed to a new SFE hardship page to find out what to do.

You can read advice on how to help students in hardship in our new blog on the SFE Practitioners site.

SFW

Students who find themselves in financial hardship can be directed to a new SFW hardship page to find out what to do.

SFNI

We have a process in place to allow discretion to be applied in the recovery approach in the event of proof of hardship and encourage any student in this situation to contact their local Student Finance NI office to discuss their circumstances in the first instance.

What do students need to do?

SFE/SFW

We are emphasising to students that it is important to let us and their university or college know if they withdraw or suspend from their studies, or if there is another change that may affect the amount of student finance to which they are entitled, to help avoid loan and grant overpayments.

SFNI

We are emphasising to students that it is important to let their local Student Finance NI office and their university or college know if they withdraw or suspend from their studies, or if there is another change that may affect the amount of student finance to which they are entitled, to help avoid loan and grant overpayments.

Can you help?

Please support us by highlighting to all students with whom you are in contact the importance of letting their university or college know as soon as possible about any change in circumstances that may affect their funding entitlement.

Higher Education Providers are required to submit timely withdrawal, suspension and other change of circumstance notifications in line with the agreed service standards, in order to minimise the risk of overpayments occurring.

Further Information

You can find further information within the Change of Circumstances guidance chapters.

Information for students on grant and loan overpayments can be found at www.studentloanrepayment.co.uk.