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HMRC internal manual

Collection of Student Loans Manual

Matching records: the matching exercise: how the matching exercise works and monthly borrower rematch


The information provided by the Student Loans Company is automatically compared firstly with the PAYE database and then with the SA database.



If a match is found with a live PAYE record, by reference to the NINO plus either the surname or the date of birth then

  • The borrower’s record is identified as a Student Loan case
  • The employer’s record is identified as a Student Loan employer
  • The Student Loans Company is automatically informed of a successful match
  • Once an individual is matched, the Student Loans Company will be further informed (on a monthly basis) each time an individual leaves an existing employment or starts a new one. This is known as Monthly Borrower rematch.

Prior to the introduction of monthly borrower re-match in April 2008 once a borrower had been matched to a live employment this status did not get updated when and if the borrower’s employment status changed. Now a monthly process will inform the Student Loans Company (SLC) of those borrowers who have moved in and out of employment in the previous month.

In practice this means that there will be an automated daily recycle for all unstopped found and matched borrowers. Operators should be aware that this means the ‘Current match status’ as seen on the List taxpayer screen of SLBS is a ‘snapshot’ of the match at any one time. It is therefore advisable to refer to Match History to determine the different events that have led to an updated match status being sent to the SLC. However, Match History was only introduced in April 2007, and will not record events prior to that date.

The possible changes to a borrowers match status will be:

  • Not found to found
  • Not found to matched
  • Found to matched
  • Matched to found.


Following the matching exercise against the PAYE database the following Student Loans Company records will be matched against the SA database

  • Records for which no match was achieved against the PAYE database


  • Cases which matched with a PAYE record and the SA signal was set on the borrower’s PAYE record. In these cases the Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) will be used to match against SA

If there is a successful match

  • The ‘SL’ signal will be set on the SA record. You can view this signal in SA Function MAINTAIN RETURN
  • The Student Loans Company is automatically informed of a successful match
  • If an SA taxpayer also has a PAYE record then any change in their employment status will, as described above, be notified to the Student Loans Company under the monthly borrower rematch procedures.

Unmatched cases

For cases which fail to match against either the PAYE or SA databases the following action is taken

  • A copy of the borrower’s record is retained by the HMRC computer and is regularly checked to see whether a PAYE or SA record has been set up


  • The Student Loans Company record is returned so that tracing action can commence

Detailed information on the action taken in these cases is given at CSLM15000 onwards.