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SLC - Post 1998 'new style' debt dilemma URGENT!

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Hi everyone,



I took out 'new style' (income-based repayment) student loans between 1998 and 2002, then after I graduated I went and worked abroad, not telling the SLC and not making any arrangements to defer payment. I spent the next 6 years abroad. I came back in Sep 2008, did a postgrad course, and still didn't get in touch with them. I've been claiming job seeker's allowance for the past 7 months or so, and still haven't gotten in touch with them, as I'm not earning so there doesn't seem to be much point. So in total it's been almost 8 years since I defaulted on my student loan and stopped contact with them. I took out around 3000 pounds or less per year for the 4 years, so plus penalties and interest its probably 20k-25k or more, god knows. I haven't heard anything from them for a long time.


Anyway, 1 week from now I will start working for a company on a temporary contract, for 3 months. The pay will be a fixed 850 pounds a month, with no scope for earning more. Clearly this falls well under the 15k minimum level required by the SLC. Regardless of this, I will have to fill in a p46 form when I start working for my new employer. There is a box on the p46 which obligates me to tick it if I still have unpaid student loans to pay. I dont have to tick this if I have made arrangements to repay loans directly to the SLC via bank transfer.


I'm wondering what the best course of action would be?


1. I am still currently claiming job seeker's allowance, and will be doing so for 1 more week. Should I contact the SLC and admit my guilt/plead ignorance/plead poverty, and offer to pay them 20 pounds a month, saying im unemployed, it's the best I can do? Do you think they would accept this?


2. Should I just tick the box on my p46 form, let my employer know about it, and hope the SLC don't hassle me? It's only 3 months, the pay is obviously next to nothing in terms of an annual salary anyway, and after 3 months I will be starting another full time education course, with a possible view to working abroad again.



What should I do? Will they tell me to shove my 20 quid a month up my backside and demand huge repayments/threaten court action? I got the impression they would be more reasonable than other creditors, as the debt is never really written off and they will get the money once I start earning a decent wage in the UK. If they are going to be as nasty as other creditors chasing a debt, I'm wondering if it's best just to wait and see if they contact me, rather than put myself on the radar?


What should I do???

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If £20 is all that you can afford then that's all you can afford.


It's really up to you with what you feel more comfortable with


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