I have student loans from 98 to 2001. I was paying my student loan in the UK via pay as you earn system for 3 years. No problems. In 2004 I moved overseas and continued to get paid in the UK for almost a year, again no issues. I then moved overseas fully and completed the overseas assessment form shortly after. This was assessed at a set monthly rate, I guess based on my overseas income converted into pounds at that time. My only issues with this was that the only convenient way of paying it back is using my overseas master card and paying their fees plus an additional 2% from the student loans company.
Also I was under the impression as the student loan was taken at source in the UK that it was from pre taxed money. Can someone please confirm this? I spoke with HRMC at the time and they said even if it was the case, as I was paying no UK tax due to no income I can't do anything about it, I'd just like to know if I'm paying a lot more than I would do in the UK.
Now the issue:
A year or 2 after me diligently calling to pay, and eventually them getting their act together enough to process payments online, the loan they sent a further assessment form. I believe I skipped filling it for a year, they then threatened arrears against a default rate, so I filled it. My salary hadn't changed much, just the overtime and exchange rate. But they came back saying my monthly payment was to be almost tripled. My understanding of this increase was because the exchange rate plummeted on the weak pound and the percentage they claim increases with the more you earn. So we discussed that this was unreasonable and they agreed I could continue to pay what I used to pay and a note would be added to my file. They wouldn't send me any written agreement.
Now I'm getting already outdated letters from a Smith Lawson & Company (very clever name) saying they're acting for a client and wanting the difference between the assessed rate plus some admin charges otherwise legal action will be taken. They even include small print that they are the Student loan company, very nice of them. They haven't sent me a balance for a while so it was nice to hear from them.
So my questions are, do I have a leg to stand on for these fees? Can they start legal proceedings on me?
Also is there anyway of getting the amounts I have over paid back off the loan? e.g. the credit card fees and potentially the tax.
Any advice would be much appreciated.