Could you be owed thousands of pounds from Student Finance?
That's a question a lot of people have been asking, after The Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis posted a viral video on TikTok explaining how to claim back hundreds, or even thousands, of pounds.
His video has resulted in hundreds of TikTokkers taking to the social media platform to share how they were successfully refunded money - but it has resulted in Student Finance's telephone lines being rammed with people hoping for a small windfall. Student Finance has issued an automated message on their telephone lines, stating that their lines are "exceptionally busy" and recommending that hopefuls go online to check their statement first and to "call us another time".
In the last tax year alone, over one million university leavers overpaid their student loans, according to the Money Saving Experts freedom of information request. Martin Lewis said that the biggest reason people have unknowingly overpaid is because they were repaying their loan despite not earning enough to have to repay.
You're only supposed to repay your student loan if you earn over a set threshold, which is usually just over £27,000, but that can vary depending on what UK nation you're in and when you started university.
Other reasons for over paying Student Finance include being on the wrong student repayment plan, and having money deducted despite having paid off the loan.
Martin Lewis advises accepting the refunded money instead of leaving it with Student Finance - even if you haven't fully paid off your loan.
"The fact that you’ve overpaid won’t actually reduce what you pay in the future - so you don’t benefit from overpaying."
"In which case, you may as well get that cash in your pocket now, because it’s not going to help you in the future."
He says that there’s no back date as to how far back you can reclaim, and so there are lots of people who could be due money.
In a statement, the Student Loans Company said: “Our repayment call waiting times are currently far longer than usual due to exceptionally high call volumes from customers enquiring about refunds.
“Before contacting us, we would encourage customers to check our online guidance and to log into their online account to see if they are eligible for a refund. Customers can only apply for a refund from a previous tax year. Any refunds for this current tax year (6 April 2023 to 5 April 2024) cannot be requested until after the end of the tax year.
“In the coming days, it will be quicker and easier for customers to request a refund using an online form which will be available on gov.uk. We thank customers for their patience”.
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