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Paying off your student loan early

Clearing any debt you may have from your time at university – including your student loan – can be a weight off your shoulders.

If you’re able to clear it in one go, or able to make extra student loan repayments, there’s no penalty for doing so. You should check when the loan will be written off before repaying or making extra payments.

Making minimum student loan repayments

Once you earn over a certain limit, you’ll automatically start paying back your student loan. This is done through your employer and will be the minimum amount you need to pay back. Even if you left your course early, you’ll need to repay anything you borrowed from the Student Loans Company (SLC).

When you’ll need to start paying your student loan back depends on what kind of student loan plan you have.

You’ll need to repay maintenance loans, tuition fee loans and postgraduate loans. If you received any bursaries or grants, these don’t need to be paid back – unless you were overpaid.

Making extra student loan payments

Alongside payments through your employer, you can make extra payments. This can help clear the debt faster and will eventually mean you no longer need to make the minimum repayments – giving you more money each month. 

You’ll need to contact the SLC beforehand and then you’ll be able to make extra payments through bank transfer, Direct Debit or by cheque. 

If you don’t want to make extra payments, you don’t have to. You’ll need to keep paying the minimum amount if you’re earning over the threshold, but you don’t have to overpay if you don’t want to. 

Paying off your student loan in full

If you want to clear the whole debt at once and you can afford to, there’s an option to pay off your loan in full. If you’re employed, you’ll need to have your latest payslip. 

You’ll need to contact the SLC who will tell you your settlement amount (the total you need to pay) and the settlement date (the date it needs to be paid by). You’ll then be able to pay this by bank transfer, with your debit card over the phone, or with a cheque. 

If you don’t pay off the settlement amount by the settlement date, you’ll need to contact SLC again. This is because the amount you owe may have changed.

What to do if you’ve overpaid your student loan

If you’ve made too many payments to the SLC, you should be able to get the money refunded. They may contact you directly to let you know how to get a refund, or you may need to contact them.

What next?

Before you start making additional payments on your student loan, it can be useful to see if there are any other debts that would benefit from being cleared first. These could be debts which charge a higher interest rate and are ultimately costing you more money.