The Student Loans Company (SLC) is a non-departmental public body company in the United Kingdom that provides student loans. It is owned by the UK Government’s Department for Education (85%), the Scottish Government (5%), the Welsh Government (5%) and the Northern Ireland Executive (5%). The SLC is funded entirely by the UK government and the devolved administrations. It is responsible for both providing loans to students, and collecting loan repayments alongside HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
The bulk of overpayments arose because HMRC and the SLC exchanged data only once a year, but recently the organisations have shared data once a week to reduce the chances of overpayments.
Nevertheless, figures obtained through freedom of information requests show that the SLC, which administers government-backed loans for tuition and maintenance, has £18.3m in overpayments awaiting refund to nearly 60,000 former students from 2015 to 2020.
The total includes £2m in unnecessary payments made in 2019-20, despite the SLC making administrative changes to reduce overpayments by graduates who had settled their outstanding debt.