A MoneySaver has reclaimed £1,100 in just five minutes after discovering she'd started repaying her student loan too early, following MSE's overpayment warning.
Mekila Kelly, who studied at the University of East Anglia, began paying back her student loan when she started a job in July 2008 straight after finishing her course.
She realised she'd started paying nine months too early after reading our warning this month that new graduates, and those who have left university part-way through their course, don't have to repay their loan until the April after they leave university, regardless of what they earn.
Mekila is one of scores of MoneySavers to contact us in the couple of weeks since we first uncovered the repayments issue. See our 100,000+ university leavers likely owed £100s as they started repaying their student loan too soon MSE News story.
'I thought – oh my God! What a bonus'
Mekila emailed us on 6 December, the day after we published our article, to tell us she had managed to reclaim £1,100. The average payout is usually about £300.
Mekila said: "It took literally five minutes, it was so quick.
"The person on the phone looked me up and told me how much I was due, and all I needed were my bank details for them to transfer the money across.
"I'm moving house next week and will be needing new carpets. I thought – oh my God! What a bonus. I can't believe it.
"Thanks so much for putting up the article."
Other MoneySavers' success stories
Scores of other MoneySavers have contacted us via social media and email to tell us about the money they have reclaimed. See our how to reclaim section below to check if you're owed cash.
Here's a selection of their tweets:
I had exactly this and called up last week and I am owed £700!! Merry Christmas!! Thanks Martin
— Rachel Dolan (@racheydolan) December 11, 2017
Thank you! My wife just called. Five minute phone call £338 refunded.
— Andrew Macpherson (@Andymac527) December 5, 2017
— Jade (@Jade_Aydogmus) December 12, 2017
— Tom Monksfield (@teachertom) December 12, 2017
How to reclaim
To check if you're due a refund, you need to first work out whether or not you began repaying your student loan before the April after you left university.
- Check your payslips for this period – These will usually show whether or not deductions were made for student loan repayments. If you don't have these you can ask the Student Loans Company (SLC) to check.
- Ring the SLC – Call 0300 100 0611 (or +44 141 243 3660 from overseas) and say you think you repaid early and would like to reclaim the money. Ideally have your payroll number, PAYE reference number and payslips ready – this will make the process a lot smoother.
However, if you don't have these, you can still ring the SLC and ask it to check if you paid early – a lot of people are reporting successes through doing this without having any paperwork to hand.
Is there a deadline for reclaiming?
A few of you have tweeted us asking if there is a deadline to reclaim the money.
As we explained in our initial article, the short answer is no. You can reclaim the money whenever, as long as you repaid early.
If you're told by the SLC customer service team that there is a deadline, this is probably an error.