I Owe Money to a University I No Longer Attend

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Anonymous #1
#1
Report Thread starter 3 years ago
#1
Hi,

After a very short period of time at my chosen university, I left. The conditions of the accomodation were not as advertised and extremely poor, and everything about the university and how it was run made me miserable. I withdrew before I had to pay course fees, but even though I'd only been in my accomodation a week I owe the full terms rent. I fully understand that, although I was told the owed money would be calculated week by week for every week it is empty, I knew I would have to pay.

I payed back my student maintenance loan because I would have had to fork out later down the line anyway, and the interest is huge. In the 4 days I had the money, £6 in interest was added to the debt. I payed it all, knowing I wouldn't have to deal with them again. So the money I owe is directly tied to the uni, not Student Finance England.

My question (sorry for all the waffling) is how government owned companies like UK universities go about claiming the debt. If they were a private company, I know they would have to go to court and then eventually a debt collector would be summoned, but my worry is that if they won't allow me to pay in installments (I've no idea, as everyone I have contacted at the uni has not yet answered me) that the effects will be even more catastrophic, expensive and immediate. Sounds very dramatic, I know, but because the money is owed to the government and is about £1800, I'm very scared.

I'm asking what happens basically. I want to know if anyone has been through something similar where they owe an immediate debt to a university. I need peace of mind, but also as much information as possible as I feel so out of my depth and panicked.

Thank you very much, and sorry if this is a bit silly.
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Report 3 years ago
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(Original post by Anonymous)
Hi,

After a very short period of time at my chosen university, I left. The conditions of the accomodation were not as advertised and extremely poor, and everything about the university and how it was run made me miserable. I withdrew before I had to pay course fees, but even though I'd only been in my accomodation a week I owe the full terms rent. I fully understand that, although I was told the owed money would be calculated week by week for every week it is empty, I knew I would have to pay.

I payed back my student maintenance loan because I would have had to fork out later down the line anyway, and the interest is huge. In the 4 days I had the money, £6 in interest was added to the debt. I payed it all, knowing I wouldn't have to deal with them again. So the money I owe is directly tied to the uni, not Student Finance England.

My question (sorry for all the waffling) is how government owned companies like UK universities go about claiming the debt. If they were a private company, I know they would have to go to court and then eventually a debt collector would be summoned, but my worry is that if they won't allow me to pay in installments (I've no idea, as everyone I have contacted at the uni has not yet answered me) that the effects will be even more catastrophic, expensive and immediate. Sounds very dramatic, I know, but because the money is owed to the government and is about £1800, I'm very scared.

I'm asking what happens basically. I want to know if anyone has been through something similar where they owe an immediate debt to a university. I need peace of mind, but also as much information as possible as I feel so out of my depth and panicked.

Thank you very much, and sorry if this is a bit silly.
Don't apologise for asking a question

The premise of your argument is wrong, I'm afraid. Universities are not 'owned by the government'. They are usually charitable organisations, incorporated under their own charters. If you owe money to a university, then they will have an obligation to collect the money. You may be able to come to an arrangement to pay it over a period of time but they will be extremely unlikely to forgive the debt, even partially, because of the precedent that would set. If you cannot come to an agreement about how the debt is to be repaid then they will apply to the county court for judgement. This will add to the amount you owe and ruin your credit file for six years - it is imperative that you do not let the debt escalate to that stage by maintaining contact and coming to some sort of arrangement with you. Unfortunately though, any provable debt you have with the university will have to be paid, regardless of the fact that you've withdrawn.

There is, however, no reason why it would come to such a calamitous end. The university will be reasonable with you: after all,it is not in their interests to set up a payment plan which is impossible for you to stick to. Thus, they will probably want to know about your current income and outgoings so they can set a reasonable payment plan, one which balances the need for you to have enough disposable income with their need to collect the debt in a reasonable time. The best thing you can do is to enter into discussion with them so you can get the situation resolved, rather than sit there worrying about it
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