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Except, according to a MoneySavingExpert investigation conducted last December, 100,000 people in the previous three tax years had begun repaying their loan too early. That, and other ways of unintentionally overpaying, means many people are able to reclaim £100s of pounds.
Last year, a Freedom of Information request revealed the Student Loans Company had some £28 million - yes, you read that right - in their coffers as a result of unrefunded student loan overpayments.
Figures obtained by higher education publication Research Professional News showed that between 2009/2010 and 2017/2018 a total of £308 million was overpaid, but that almost a tenth of it had not been refunded.
In their defence, the SLC said they contact everybody who's owed a refund, but due to the transient nature of students and graduates, many change addresses numerous times without updating their details.
So you may not even be aware that you're owed free money. Well, technically it's not free because you've already paid it out, but it will feel like it.
If you think you may have overpaid early, the simplest way to check is to look at your payslips, which should indicate whether or not you paid early.
The current threshold in the 2019/2020 tax year is a salary of £25,725. Prior to that, the threshold was was £25,000, though you actually start repaying when your earnings go over the weekly or monthly equivalent of this threshold.
The easiest way to check if you paid back part of your loan early is if you have payslips. These will usually show whether or not deductions were made for student loan repayments. If you don't have them, you can call the SLC on 0300 100 0611 (or +44 141 243 3660 from overseas) to check.
Steven Darling, Director or Repayment & Counter Fraud Strategy at the Student Loans Company, told LADbible: "We are currently trialling automatic bank refunds to customers who have over-repaid their loans, however, repaying too much is avoidable because we ask customers to take control of the final stages of loan repayment and make the switch from repaying through their salary to Direct Debit.
"We ask all of our customers to keep their details up to date so that we can let them know when it's their time to put a Direct Debit in place, or if they have a refund available, and strongly urge customers to take this action."