Student Loan Company Testing Automatic Refunds With Overpaying Student Loan Customers
28 Feb 2020
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- Tests are being conducted to give out automatic refunds into the bank accounts of those student loan customers who have overpaid their student loans.
- The SLC aims to reduce instances of overpayments by providing timely intimation to customers to switch over to a Direct Debit facility towards the end of their loan term.
- The move is part of ongoing efforts being made in the UK to revamp the student loan repayment services.
According to reports, the Student Loan Company (SLC) is currently testing a new system whereby customers who have repaid in-excess on their student loans would be given automatic refunds in their bank account. The move is part of ongoing efforts by the SLC to improve its repayment service. As part of the tests, a trial group of customers has been created composed of those who had not already joined the Direct Debit scheme being offered by the SLC or responded to communications by the SLC that outlined the process customers could follow to reclaim their money. Joining the Direct Debit scheme is another precaution some customers have already exercised to avoid making overpayments on their outstanding student debt. In case customers have overpaid, their student debt accounts show a credit balance and, if that’s the case, automatic refunds may be made once directly into their bank accounts once their bank details are successfully validated. These refunds are expected to appear as SLC Receipts in the bank statements of such customers. According to Steven Darling, who is the Director of Repayment and Counter Fraud, these trials are part of the Company’s efforts to improve its repayment service, and other improvements are also in the pipeline that is expected to be implemented during the year as well. Darling highlighted that giving refunds is a positive step forward, however, the Company’s aims to reduce the instances of overpayments altogether. According to him, an effective preventive step is to encourage customers to switch from making payments from their salary to the Direct Debit facility, especially towards the end of their loan term. This requires customers to keep their information updated so that the Company can provide timely notifications to customers to make the switch to Direct Debit when their loan is approaching its conclusion. A recent announcement
by the government in the UK highlighted that a revamped Online Repayment Service platform is expected to be launched this year. The improvements that have been made so far are a result of increase information sharing pertaining to customer repayments between the SLC and the HMRC ever since 2019. The new platform will make it easier for customers to keep their information updated, including contact information that is necessary to ensure important notifications reach customers in time. It will also offer information to customers about their position in the repayment journey, helping them to handle the final repayment stages in an easier and timely manner.