Repaying your student loan from overseas

The Student Loans Company explains why it’s important to let them know if you plan to live or work overseas after you finish your course.

If you’re leaving the UK for more than three months, whether permanent or temporary, and don’t pay tax in the UK, you may still need to make repayments directly to the Student Loans Company (SLC).

You’ll pay 9% of any income over the repayment threshold for the country you’re living in. Because of differences in living costs, the repayment threshold in another country could be different from the UK threshold. SLC updates the thresholds each year to take account of price changes.

Before you leave the UK, you should complete an Overseas Income Assessment Form so SLC can calculate if you need to repay. They’ll send you a repayment schedule showing how much you need to repay each month.

The assessment is valid for 12 months, so if you’re still overseas when your current schedule ends, you’ll need to complete another form. You can also apply for a reassessment at any time if your income level changes.

SLC will use the average exchange rate for the previous UK calendar year to calculate your income in sterling. This will then determine your repayment schedule.

Interest will continue to be applied to your loan while you’re overseas.

What happens if you don’t keep in touch with SLC?

While you are out of the UK, if you don’t keep your account details up-to-date, you may be charged a fixed amount which could be higher than the repayment amount due, based on your actual income. SLC may also ask you to repay the full amount of loan, plus interest and penalties, in one lump sum.

If you don't respond to requests for information or evidence, interest will be charged on your loan balance at RPI plus 3% until SLC has all the information they need.

Allowing someone else to deal with your account

Due to the Data Protection Act, SLC can’t discuss your account with anyone other than you. However, you can nominate a person to deal with your account on your behalf. This can be particularly useful if you’re overseas.

You can give SLC this authority in two ways:

  1. Consent to Share
    This is written or verbal authorisation which allows SLC to discuss your account information (excluding bank details) with a person you have nominated.
  2. Power of Attorney
    This is a legal document where you can grant attorney to a third party to release or update information relating to your account.