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UK sufferers with student loan debt may be eligible for debt relief

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS Discussion' started by Cheesus, Jul 6, 2017.

  1. Cheesus

    Cheesus Senior Member

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    Those of us in the UK with student loans to eventually repay might be eligible for debt relief.

    The two criteria needed to get your loan written of are:
    1. A letter from a doctor stating you are "permanently unfit to work".
    2. Evidence that you are in receipt of disability benefits.
    Criterion 2 is fairly objective, but criterion 1 is slightly more nuanced. In my view, if you are recently diagnosed and appear to be trending towards improvement, then you probably do not qualify as permanently unfit to work. If, however, you are a longterm sufferer with no obvious trend towards improvement, then you are much more likely to be able to persuade you doctor to write the letter for you. It seems to be at your doctor's discretion.

    This is one of those rare things in modern Britain where you don't need to jump through a million hoops with private companies that have specific targets to meet. A simple letter from your GP and a bank statement is enough to have thousands in debt cancelled.

    See here for (slightly) more details:

    http://www.studentloanrepayment.co.uk/portal/page?_pageid=93,7950697&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL
     
  2. Cheesus

    Cheesus Senior Member

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  3. trishrhymes

    trishrhymes Senior Member

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    Surely if you are unable to work and on benefits you don't make any student loan repayments anyway.

    As I understand it students from before the coalition government changes pay a percentage of their income over £15000, and students after that date pay a percentage of their income over £21000. If your income is below that in any year you pay nothing that year.

    And any remaining debt after a fixed number of years is written off (I think it's about 30 years). Also if you die, the debt dies with you.

    Given all that, a person unable to work and likely to have an income well below the threshold pays nothing anyway.
     
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  4. Cheesus

    Cheesus Senior Member

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    @trishrhymes

    It isn't hugely advantageous, but if they make the offer then you may as well take them up on it if you qualify. A condition that qualifies as a permanent disability now may become treatable at a later date.
     
  5. Wonko

    Wonko Senior Member

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    The other side.
    Very few GPs will sign a letter stating that a patient is permanently unfit to work - I've been unable to work and receiving disability benefits for over 20 years and mine certainly won't.

    BTW if you miss a single deferment declaration, even for valid reason, such as I was bed bound for several months you can no longer defer any payments, and they assume you are in receipt of a salary which would entitle them to payment, even if sent evidence which shows you aren't, such as DWP documentation stating what benefits you are on.

    They've been chasing me for years, with various degrees of enthusiasm even though they know I haven't worked since I took out the loan, and know why the deferment paperwork was sent back late. Oddly I was under the impression the contract I signed, in 95, said that if I was unable to work for several years then it would be written off, but it seems when all the loans were sold on to another party that bit got left out.
     
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  6. bombsh3ll

    bombsh3ll Senior Member

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    My understanding from the student loan arrangement I took out in 1999 was that repayments could be collected if you were working and earning £10,000+ (I know this figure has increased for more recent students) or had more than £2000 of unearned income per year (this has probably increased too). I would hope disability benefits are not taken into account for the purpose of unearned income, but never gave it much thought at the time. Nobody expects to develop a chronic illness do they!
     
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