Student Finance overpaymentWatch
As I write this I am very anxious, please bear with me.
I applied for my PGCE in June 2020 last year as a career changer. Originally, I was only applying for a loan to pay for the PGCE, but unfortunately due to Covid my husband was made redundant in July 2020. As I had already handed in my notice, I was unable to rescind. I contacted Student Finance and I spoke to someone who said to apply based on current year income, because we basically had no income and two children.
I applied and they gave me the full amount. Full loans, grants and childcare grant. That would be 11k for childcare (of which we used 5K) 9k maintenance loan, adult dependant grant and parent learner allowance
Until my husband was made redundant he was paid just shy of £9k in April 2020 to August 2020.
After this he couldn't find work until January 2021. He was on income based JSA which totalled £1900.
He then found a job at a Covid test centre and earnt £1800 in February and March.
In May, SF sent us a letter asking for us to update our current information. We did this and sent P45s. Miraculously, they have lost all the information.
They have sent me a letter basically saying they have overpaid me a total of £16000! This cannot be right, surely?
I called in a haste as I was super scared. They advised that they have put the account on hold and I needed to resend all the information.
I have looked high and low for information on potentially what the overpayment could have been.
Can anyone help? Before I have an attack. Needless to say the money has been used to pay our household bills for the last year. We don't have a penny to give them back!
Even if it turns out that this is a genuine overpayment SFE will never place a student into hardship to repay a loan. They’ll arrange a repayment plan that is affordable. Although based on the amount he earned it sounds like there’s an error somewhere in the system. You should check that you gave them the right NI number for your husband and check with hmrc that there’s no problems with the NI number (like someone else reporting their income on your husband’s NI number)
It’s often best to contact SFE by dm during working hours on Facebook or Twitter if you need someone to check your account. That’s also good for you because you have their responses in writing if there is any problems.
Send off everything they’re asking for (send copies not originals) and keep in touch with them for regular updates.