Repaying grants if you've been overpaid (now closed) Watch
SFE Advisor for this Q&A
Pauline De Pellette, Senior Manager, Repayment
Pauline is the Student Loans Company’s Senior Repayments Manager. She’s responsible for the recovery of overpaid grants, loans and overseas customers whose accounts are in arrears.
What should students do if they have been overpaid?
If you realise at the time of payment that you have been overpaid prior to SFE informing you of this, my advice would be to repay this money if you can. If the money has been absorbed into an overdraft or you didn’t realise you had been overpaid and the money is spent, then the action you take will depend on whether you are still studying or not.
If you have incurred an over payment of grant because you withdrew from your course, as well as receiving a letter confirming that you have been reassessed due to your withdrawal, you will also receive a letter informing you of the overpaid grant amount. The letter will request that you repay this immediately. In this instance you should contact Student Loans Company (SLC) Collections department to repay the full amount but if this is not possible, we will discuss a payment arrangement with you.
If you remain in study, the overpayment of grant would be deducted from any future grant award and in this instance, you would not have to take any action if the overpayment is recovered this way. If however, you do not receive any further grant award or it is not enough to recover the full overpayment, then you would become liable to repay the overpayment of grant at the point you graduate.
You graduation date triggers contact from SLC Collections department requesting you repay the overpayment immediately and as above, you should contact Student Loans Company (SLC) Collections department to repay the full amount but if this is not possible, we will discuss a payment arrangement with you.
It is very important to note that if you incur an overpayment of grant and you wish to query this, you should do so as soon as you have been notified that you have an overpayment. Leaving this until you graduate can make it extremely difficult for you and SLC to deal with the query effectively due to the period that has elapsed since the overpayment first occurred. This can, in some instances, be up to four years.
Are students actually required to pay this back, bearing in mind this was a mistake on student finance's part initially. Would be handing if you could outline the policy with regards to this
Student grants are generally non-repayable, however they are paid on one important
assumption – that the information provided is correct at the time of application and does not
change at any point, or events do not occur, which can result in a student’s entitlement to
student support being re-assessed.
There are various circumstances that can result in a student’s entitlement to a grant being reassessed, which may result in a grant overpayment, such as:
· Over-estimation of obligations/under-estimation of income for Dependants’ Grants
· Under-estimation of income for Current Year Income Assessments
· Withdrawals/suspensions from course
· Change of circumstances
· Incorrect assessments
SLC is under a statutory obligation to recover any grant overpayment which is identified. The
current statutory provisions can be found in Regulation 119 of The Education (Student Support)
Regulations 2011, with similar provisions being in previous Student Support Regulations. SLC
seeks to recover all grant overpayments from all customers identified as receiving a grant
overpayment. Grant overpayments can be recovered by either repayment by the customer or
recouping the overpayment from any future grant entitlement awarded to a customer who is still
in Higher Education and receiving student support. Where a customer has graduated from their
course and a grant overpayment is subsequently identified, then the recovery of the grant
overpayment is through direct repayment.