Student debt

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Students

Anthony Reuben

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The ONS is about to announce how it will treat student loans in the national accounts. Will it lead to changes in student finance?

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Text alert for student loan countdown

Kevin Peachey

Personal finance reporter

Graduates
PA

A text message system is being used to alert graduates that they are close to paying off their student loans.

The system follows criticism of the Student Loans Company (SLC) that graduates continue to make contributions, even after their loan has been paid off.

The texts invite people to move to a direct debit scheme, instead of money taken from a wage packet, and means that their repayments stop immediately when their loan is repaid.

"Customers should keep their contact details up to date on their online account. This means we can get in touch when they are within 23 months of repaying their balance in full to invite them onto the direct debit scheme," said Steven Darling, from the SLC.

If they continue to pay through PAYE then payments generally continue until the end of the tax year and they then get a refund of the overpayment.

The SLC texted 30,000 customers in the last month.

New sale of student loans

Ministers defend decision to sell more of the student loan book.
Labour has attacked a Government plan to sell almost £4 billion of the English student loan book.
But the Universities Minister, Sam Gyimah, insisted the move was "good for the taxpayer". Rachel Byrne reports.
And you can hear more from Today in Parliament at 11.30pm on BBC Radio Four.