Erudio offers to settle pre-1998 student loans at half-price. Martin Lewis says it’s "trying a fast one on most people"

MoneySavingExpert.com (MSE) can reveal Erudio – the company which manages the student loans of graduates who studied between 1990 and 1998 – has been writing to some borrowers who don't currently earn enough to have to repay their loans, telling them that if they pay off half their balance their "liability" for the rest of the loan will end. The letters only give a short deadline to take up the offer.

MSE has seen reports from at least a dozen university leavers who've received a letter from Erudio. But the letters also warn accepting the offer "may impact" on the borrower's ability to borrow money from the SLC again, and suggests borrowers contact the SLC or seek independent legal advice for more info.

Martin Lewis, founder of MoneySavingExpert.com, said: "The vast majority of people who get these letters should treat it like it's dirty, hold it by the edge and toss it straight away in the bin. Erudio is trying a fast one on most people.

"If you've still got one of these loans it means you haven't paid it off in at least 20 years. So in most cases it's unlikely you'll ever pay any of it back, and even more unlikely you'll pay it off in full. While it may seem tempting to pay a lower figure than the outstanding balance, the loan will eventually wipe.

"Only those who are temporarily deferring and have a reasonable chance of earning over the £30,737 threshold should consider Erudio's offer. In that case you should only do it if you're likely to pay off more than the settlement figure.

"To make this type of offer without fully explaining to people the pros and cons does not seem responsible to me for an organisation that has taken over Government-backed finances.

"This should not be treated like a Wild West. This is one of the reasons why we have campaigned that if there is a sell-off of any future student loans, the terms and conditions and the entire operating practices of the system should not be changed by the sell-off."

For full information and what to do if you’re affected please see the MSE news story.