ICR Debt Sale

The UK Government announced on 6th February that it is starting the process required to sell part of the English student loan book. This process was paused in advance of the General Election and has now resumed. It covers Plan 1 loans issued by any English local authority which entered repayment between 2002 and 2006 (this is relevant to you if you are a borrower who finished or left their course between 2001 and 2005 or before April 2006). The sale is being undertaken in accordance with the Sale of Student Loans Act 2008. The announcement made on the 6th February is available at www.gov.uk/dfe and below is some information which should help address any questions you have regarding your loan.

One important thing you should be aware of is that the UK Government has made it clear that there will be no impact on customers whose loans have been sold as a result of the sale.

Important information

You do not need to take any action as a result of the sale. If your loan is sold, Student Loans Company will still be responsible for administering your loan(s). This means the way you repay will stay the same and you will still receive your annual statements from us.

Although the loans will be transferred to an independent English investment company:

  • The individual and overall repayments you make will not and cannot change as a result of the sale.
  • The way you repay your loan(s) will not and cannot change as a result of the sale.
  • The way the interest rate is calculated will not and cannot change as a result of the sale.
  • The terms and conditions of your loan(s) will not and cannot change as a result of the sale.

Whose loans are being sold?

The sale includes Plan 1 loans issued by any English local authority which entered repayment between 2002 and 2006. This is relevant to you if you are a borrower who finished or left their course between 2001 and 2005 or before April 2006. The sale is being undertaken in accordance with the Sale of Student Loans Act 2008.

On behalf of the Secretary of State for Education, SLC will write to those customers, at their home address, whose loans are included in the sale. Letters will be issued within three months of the sale concluding. If you do not receive a letter within that period, your loan is not one of those that have been sold.

No response or action to the letter will be needed.

The majority of customers with a student loan will not be included.

Why are these loans being sold?

The sale of the loans is part of a wider UK Government drive to sell publicly-owned assets in a way that secures good value for money for taxpayers.

Frequently asked questions

Are Government allowed to do this?

The Sale of Student Loans Act 2008 permits the sale of student loans but requires that sold and unsold loans are treated in the same way.

Who will these loans be sold to?

The UK Government have advised that the loans will be sold to a new independent English company whose sole purpose will be to own the loans on behalf of investors. The details of this company will be confirmed once the sale process has been completed.

How will customers be advised if their loans have been sold?

On behalf of the Secretary of State for Education, SLC will write to those customers, at their home address, whose loans are included in the sale. Letters will be issued within three months of the sale concluding. If you do not receive a letter within that period, your loan is not one of those that have been sold.

No response or action to the letter will be needed.

The majority of customers with a student loan will not be included.

Will my Employer have to take any action?

No. Employers will continue with PAYE, as instructed by HMRC

What is an Income Contingent Repayment Loan?

Income Contingent Repayment (ICR) loans are the type of student loans which were made available from 1998 onwards to higher education students. These loans are repaid based on income, normally via deductions from a customer’s salary if employed or through Self Assessment tax return if self-employed.

Will the terms and conditions of these loans change?

No, the UK Government has made it clear that borrowers, including those whose loans are within the scope of the sale, will not be affected in any way as a result of the sale. The sale will not and cannot alter the terms and conditions of your loan. SLC will continue to administer the loans and the way you make repayments will remain the same.

Will the interest rate change?

No, the interest rate will not and cannot change as a result of the sale. The interest rate is currently set by the Department for Education, the Government department responsible for student loans. The interest rate is updated once a year on 1st September, using the Retail Price Index (RPI) figure from March of that year. This process will remain the same for sold and unsold loans after the sale. See Interest rates Interest rates for more information.

How can I find out the balance of my account?

Log in to your account at www.studentloanrepayment.co.uk www.studentloanrepayment.co.uk

To log in you will need your Customer Reference Number, password and secret answer.

Can the loan balance be paid off immediately?

Yes. Customers can call SLC on 0300 100 0611 (Mon - Fri 8am - 8pm and Sat 9am - 4pm).

If a customer has been making repayments through their salary they need to make sure that when they call they have their:

    • last P60; and
    • all pay slips for the current financial year

Can additional amounts still be paid online towards an outstanding balance?

Yes, additional payments by credit or debit card can be made at any time by using the Make a Payment service.