By Hannah Richardson BBC News education reporter – http://www.bbc.com/news/education-41201769
Extracts from the above article:
Shadow Universities Minister Gordon Marsden wrote, “this worrying situation has been compounded by an ongoing stream of accounts over the past few months in the media, and based on numerous individual stories appearing, of the inadequacies of the Student Loans Company to properly administer student loans and specifically repayments.”
He highlighted that the number of student loan customers who had overpaid their debts rose to 86,000 in 2015-16, from 52,000 in 2009-10”.
A spokesman for the DfE defended the student loans system, which debits money directly from earnings through the tax system, saying it was fair. The spokesman said: “No borrower need overpay their loan.”The SLC gives all borrowers the option to repay by direct debit two years before they are due to repay their loan and borrowers who take up this option will not overpay.” Any borrower who believes they have overpaid should contact the SLC as soon as possible.
Mr Marsden pointed out that the problems at the firm come at a time when some students leave university with debts of up to £57,000. He also raised the issue of graduates facing the prospect of paying 6.1% on their student loans while the Bank of England base rate is 0.25%. The interest rate is due to rise soon from 4.6%. He said that, without action, the confidence of existing graduates and future students would continue to erode, to the detriment of the sector.
Qualifi suggests that there is an alternative to being burdened with the level of debt outlined above. Qualifi provides Level 4 and level 5 Student Loan Company recognised Advanced Learning Loan fundable qualifications with the option of final year Top Up to Honours Degree. The Qualifi model of studying for an honours degree results in students leaving university with a degree but with much less debt.