Students Loans: how, when and how much will I pay

HM Revenue & Customs collects repayments on student loans taken out after August 1998.

You can find out more about how to repay your loan on the Student Loans Company website (Opens new website).

If you have taken out a student loan after August 1998 read on:

Start date
The earliest your repayments will start is the 6 April after you leave your course.

Starting limit
Your income needs to be £16,910 a year (£1,409 a month or £325 a week) before repayments start. You will not have to make repayments until your income reaches these levels.

Amount due
The amount you will pay back is calculated as 9% of your income over the starting limit.  But if you complete a Self Assessment (SA) return and you get more than £2,000 interest a year from your savings it may affect how much you have to repay.

If you have a job
HMRC will tell your employer when to start making deductions from your wages. Your employer will make deductions each pay day.

Making repayments
As each pay day is looked at separately, your repayments may vary according to how much you have been paid in that week or month. If your income falls below the starting limit for that week/month, your employer should not make a deduction.

There is also a way to pay your loan off quicker, as well as having repayments deducted by your employer. You can make voluntary repayments of £5.00 or more direct to the Student Loans Company yourself, at any time, even if you do not earn above the threshold.

You can do this by contacting the SLC, telling them your name and student reference number. If you do choose to make voluntary payments it will not stop your employer making deductions from your pay for the balance of your loan, but your employer will stop making deductions sooner.

You can get more information by contacting the SLC (Opens new window).

If you work for yourself and/or have to complete a tax return
You should tick the relevant box on your tax return to indicate that you are a student loan borrower. This will ensure that your student loan repayment is calculated with your overall bill. You should normally pay your bill by the 31 January each year.

Example

You leave college/university in June 2013 and start working in August 2013 earning £2000 a month (£24,000 a year).

Your repayments don't start until April 2014.

  • income in April £2000 - Starting limit £1409 = £591
  • £591 x 9% = £53 repaid in April.