I’m always on the lookout for ways to cheat the system, and I think I might have come across my absolute fave. If there’s one thing that gets on my nerves, it’s the fact that every single month, without fail, my student loan payment comes out of my salary. Those nasty little digits serve as a reminder that a smidgen of my hard-earned money is going towards an education that, while I value, I also slightly resent—primarily because half of it occurred in my bedroom, alone, restricted by the COVID-19 lockdown regulations.
Please tell me I’m not the only one who remembers all those traumatic moments in breakout rooms. You move on with your life, but you never truly forget those deathly silences. I might have already helped you lot figure out how you can apply to get a refund from your university for part of your tuition, but this hack is way simpler. Sit down and relax because your absolute favourite blonde has sniffed out the best possible way for you to cheat the system, and get ahold of some extra moolah.
You know the Student Loans Company (SLC), those cheeky people who keep note of the mounting student debt you’re in? Well, they could actually owe you a mega refund.
Videos have been circulating on TikTok of people who went to university in the UK ringing up SLC and asking whether or not they might have overpaid their loan. While this might not sound like the most legit life hack, I can promise you that it’s all true:
So, if you want to cash in, all you need to do is follow these simple steps. First off, you’re going to need to find your customer reference number. Pro tip: make sure you make a note of your SLC login information because I didn’t and it caused me a whole lot of extra faff.
Next, all you need to do is ring SLC and tell them that you want to check whether or not you have overpaid your loan. They should then ask you a few security questions and let you know if you’re due a repayment, and if so, exactly how much you are owed. I didn’t know this, but according to reports, countless people accidentally overpay their loans every year. In fact, in the last tax year alone, over one million university leavers overpaid their student loans, as reported by MoneySavingExpert.
A lot of the time this happens because you’re being charged in a salary bracket that doesn’t actually reflect the correct amount of money that you earn. For example, if you work part-time or only work certain times of the year, you might be correctly charged one month and then the next be charged the same despite not earning the same. You might also be on the wrong payment plan, or you may have even started repaying too early. There are a number of possibilities as to why you might be owed a refund, so make sure you ring SLC asap.
If you’re confused about what student loan payment plan you’re on, or any details pertaining to your loan, have a look at your personal SLC account and it should lay out all of the important deets you’ll need. A quick warning though, the homepage will explicitly show you how much money you still owe—it’s a f*cking killer.
A few things to remember, if you ring up SLC because you think you earned under the threshold in a tax year, you will need to wait until that tax year is finished. But just think, what a yummy little April treat! Fun fact, the tax year actually ends on my birthday. You’d think that would mean the government would send me a present or something, but no such luck.
If you phone up SLC and you can’t get through to any operators, you might be best off filling out the company’s refund request form.
It’s a very simple form. To fill it out, you’ll need to give your customer reference number, national insurance number and date of birth. You’ll also need to inform them which tax year you’re claiming for.
This little hack is definitely worth a shot, who knows, you might walk away having obtained a serious bit of moolah. So go ahead, treat yourself, babes, you deserve it.