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Is Student Loan deferment Backdating at their discretion?


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Hi, I have old style student loans pre1998. I was eligible for derferment and understood that if the deferment form was lodged after payments had been taken, then the deferment could be backdated upto 3 months and the payments that had already taken would be refunded.


I duly sent in my completed deferment form and wrote on it a request to backdate 3months and refund the 3 payments taken. The student loans company defered my loan from the date of receipt of the form instead and did not back backdate or refund the payments already taken. I complained over the phone and they told me they would not refund the money as they didn't have to. I complained twice in writing and was ignored.



The following legislation below is relevant and is on the opsi.gov.uk web site:

The Education (Student Loans) Regulations 1998 //SI 211



Here it says

"10. Each deferment period will last for 12 months beginning on a date the lender tells the borrower. This date will be not more than three months before or two months after the date the lender accepts the borrower’s deferment application. The borrower can end the deferment period at any time. To do this he must tell the lender in writing when to start collecting payments from his bank account."


It does not say the borrower has any right whether they backdate or not! It looks like they can even post date deferment and take even more money!


Is backdating really at their discretion? I lost my original leaflets when I took out the loan. Does anyone here have them or the original credit agreement? What does it say about backdating?


Do I have any right to get my money back?

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It was a renewal. The loans were taken out in 1997, 1998 and 1999 from SLC. In previous years I had backdated the form up to 3 months and had payments refunded no problem.


Whilst the legislation in my original post provides a framework within which SLC must operate, it may well be that the credit agreement or the terms and conditions provided to the borrowers at the time the loan was taken out provide a right to 3 month backdating. I don't know because I no longer have those documents. Maybe someone on this forum knows and can help?


If it is a contractual obligation for the SLC to abide by a borrowers request to backdate upto 3 months and they failed to do so then I may be able to challenge them for a refund. If it is at their discretion then I may not. That is what i'm hoping to find out.

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I think the problem is;


It was a renewal, so you would be aware of the date the form should be in by. Obiously they did not receive it by that date, so in their eyes your deferment had ended, hence them taking the payments.


From what I have been told the 3 months back date is for admin delays and 1st time applications, where it is shown your income was the same for the previous 3 months before the receipt of the form.


Don't take this as 100% gospel, other might disagree.

I had a SL around the same time and checked my agreement, but it doesn't say any more about the 3 month back date than you have already mentioned


I wil move your post to the student section, you may get some more input there

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I presume the 3 months is also to allow the borrower to collect evidence of their income. This can take time e.g. getting confirmation from third parties. I had used the backdating every year since I graduated and this was the first time they didn't backdate. I recieved no correspondece concerning my request to backdate. They should have at least said why it was not accepted and given me a right to appeal?


I am considering claiming a refund under the direct debit guarantee but first I must have evidence that debits were wrongfully taken.

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