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Student debt

25th January 2022 · 5 minute read

Published by The Real Debt Guy

  • Student loan
  • Student debt
  • Student loan debt
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When will your student loan debt be written off?

When will your student loan debt be written off?

When you read about the debt that students build up today, it is eye-watering, £30K, £40K even £50K! As a fresh graduate heading out into the world of employment, it’s a huge weight to have on your shoulders. If this is you, and you’re trying to find out whether there is a quick win solution to make your student loan debt disappear, in short, there isn’t one.

There is no magic wand that will quickly write off your student loan debt. The circumstances would have to be pretty serious for this to happen. The Student Loan Company will always try to recover all of the money that has been loaned.

However, there are circumstances in which your student loan could be written off, so let’s take a look at the different repayment plans, and potential scenarios.

Not in the mood to read? We got you covered. Listen to the rest with the YouTube link at the bottom of the page

Which plan does your Student Loan debt fall into?

To start, student loans fit into one of three repayment plans: Plan 1, Plan 2 and Plan 4. For some reason the government doesn’t like the number three! If you don’t already know which repayment plan your debt fits into, you can find out here, and then come straight back!

Now that you know which plan your student loan debt falls into, let’s take a look at what this means when it comes to writing off your student loan debt.

I'm in Plan 1

If your student loan falls into Plan 1, the date your debt will be written off, depends on the academic year you took out the loan:

  • If the academic year you took out your loan, was 2005 to 2006 or earlier, your loan will be written off when you're 65.
  • If the academic year you took out your loan, was 2006 to 2007 or later, your loan will be written off, 25 years after the April you were first due to start your repayments.

    For example, let's say your course ended in June 2018. Your repayments would not have been due until April 2019. However, if your course ended February 2018, your repayments would have been due to start in that same year, in April 2018.

I'm in Plan 2

If your student loan falls into Plan 2, you can expect your student loan to be written off 30 years after the April you were first due to start your repayments.

I'm in Plan 4

Similar to Plan 1, if your student loan falls into Plan 4, the date your debt will be written off is linked to the academic year you took out the loan:

  • If the academic year you took out your loan, was 2006 to 2007 or earlier, your loan will be written off when you turn 65, or 30 years after the April you were first due to start your repayments. Whichever comes first.
  • If the academic year you took out your loan, was 2007 to 2008 or later, your loan will be written off 30 years after the April you were due to start your repayments.

You’ll notice there is a bit of a theme above, and it’s pretty safe to assume you will be at least 50 years old before the day comes that your loan is written off!

What if my Student Loan is Postgraduate?

If you continued your education to postgraduate, here’s a breakdown of when your Student Loan Debt will be written off, and it varies a little depending on where you are from:

  • If you're an English or Welsh student, your Post Graduate Loan will be written off, 30 years after the April you were first due to start your repayments.
  • If you're Northern Irish go straight to "I'm in Plan 1" above
  • If you're Scottish go straight to "I'm in Plan 4" above

Again, the rules are very similar and you’re not going to shake off your debt without a long wait. However, there are other less common circumstances to be aware of that will also affect when your student loan debt is written off.

Under what circumstances could my Student Loan be written off?

Well, there are two other major circumstances whereby your loan may be written off but they are extreme, these are:

  1. If you can no longer work due to an illness or disability (you should be claiming benefits associated with this).
  2. If you.... and there's no nice way to say this.... but if you die. Yes, the Student Loan Company are kind enough to cancel your debt if you are dead, how considerate of them!

Don't forget to read The Real Debt Guy's final thoughts below!

The information in this article is considered to be true and correct at the date of publication.

The Real Debt Guy's final thoughts.

It’s plain to see that having your Student Loan Debt written off is unlikely, unless you continue to earn under the threshold (which we talk about in this article). Each of the plans above clearly show there is very little wiggle room, and The Student Loan Company will try to recover all of the money that has been loaned. If you’re struggling financially, and your Student Loan is a contributing debt, you might find it useful to read about ‘How to handle your Student Debt’ and ‘Everything you need to know about paying off your Student Loan’, to take back a bit of control.

You might also want to take a look at our Budget Planner or head over to the mindfulness section to understand if there are areas of spending that you could curb if you are experiencing financial challenges.

Simplifying complicated matters.

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