Repaying a student loan or grant overpayment

If you’re paid more student loan or grant than you’re entitled to, the Student Loans Company (SLC) will write to you to tell you what you must pay back and how to pay.

You must repay this separately from the rest of your student loan.

There’s a different process if you applied for:

Student Finance England manages your application for grants or loans and payments during your course. SLC manages repayments.

How overpayments happen

You’re paid your student loan and any grants in advance at the start of each term.

If your personal circumstances or course changes SLC will check you’re still getting the right amount of finance. This is known as a reassessment.

If the reassessment finds the amount of grant or loan you’re entitled to has gone down, you’ll have to pay back any extra money you’ve received.

If you’re an undergraduate

The amount you get depends on things like:

  • your household income
  • the type and length of your course
  • your living arrangements

You may have been overpaid if any of the following happened:

  • your estimated income was lower than your actual income, for example, if you applied using a ‘current year income assessment’
  • you left your course or stopped studying
  • you changed course, for example you switched to a shorter course
  • you changed your college or university from one in London to one outside London
  • you started living with your parents
  • you were being paid a Childcare Grant but are no longer responsible for the same number of children

If you’re a postgraduate

The amount you get is the amount you asked for before starting your course, up to the maximum allowed. Your eligibility for your loan depends on:

  • your nationality and residence status
  • the length and type of your course

You may have been overpaid if any of the following happened:

How to repay

If you’re still studying

You’ll usually have to repay before the end of your course. Either:

  • the amount you’ll get for the rest of your course will be reduced, to recover the amount that was overpaid
  • you must arrange to repay the money separately, either as a lump sum or in instalments

If your Childcare Grant was overpaid on or after 1 September 2019, you’ll need to repay the amount after your course ends.

If you leave your course before the amount is repaid

You must repay overpayments separately from your loan repayments.

You must arrange to repay as soon as possible - there’s no minimum amount you must be earning before you have to repay.

You can repay the money:

  • as a lump sum
  • in instalments

If you’re having difficulty repaying

If you’re still studying

Speak to your university or college. They may be able to offer help or advice, or direct you to other organisations that can help.

If you’ve spoken to your university or college and are still having difficulty because of repayments, call Student Finance England for advice.

Student Finance England
Telephone: 0300 100 0607
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
Find out about call charges

If you’ve left your course

If you’ve left your course, contact SLC to discuss your situation. If you’re in ‘financial hardship’ they may be able to pause or delay any repayments.