Grant and Loan Overpayments

If you’re still in study or have previously been in study and we’ve contacted you about being paid too much (an overpayment), you should read this section. It will tell you about grant and loan overpayments including:

  • what are grants and loans?
  • what is a grant or loan overpayment?

It will also provide wider information on how an overpayment can occur, what you need to do and how it affects you if you’re:

  • taking a break or permanently leaving your course; or
  • still studying and unsure why you’ve received a letter about being overpaid

What are grants and loans?

Grants are usually a non repayable type of student finance to support you while studying. Grants don’t accrue interest and are non repayable so long as an overpayment doesn’t exist. There are different types of grants you may be eligible to apply for and this term is used to cover a range of products – including Childcare Grant, Parents’ Learning Allowance, Adult Dependants’ Grant, Maintenance Grant and Welsh Government Learning Grant.

Loans are a repayable type of student finance which accrues interest and is provided to support you while studying – they include the Maintenance Loan and Tuition Fee Loan.

The information provided in this section will refer to the products collectively as a grant or loan.

What is a grant or loan overpayment?

When you apply to us for financial support and we’ve worked out how much you can get, you’ll be sent a Notification of Entitlement letter. This lets you know what student finance you’ll get for the full academic year.

Your total student finance payments are split over three terms. Each payment is made in advance to help with costs for the full term ahead (the third term payment also covers the summer break, unless you’re in your final year).

You remain entitled to the payments for each term, only if:

  • you continue to attend your university or college and don’t take a break or leave your course; and
  • all the necessary financial evidence to support the application has been provided on time.

If you don’t comply with this, then:

  1. your entitlement for the academic year will be reassessed and reduced; and
  2. as payments are made in advance of each term, the reduction will likely result in you being paid too much. This is known as an overpayment.


If you’re entitled to a Maintenance Loan of £6,000 this will be paid over three terms.

You’ll be paid £2,000 ahead of term 1

You’ll be paid another £2,000 ahead of term 2

You leave your course during term 2, this means you aren’t entitled to the full £2,000 we’ve already paid you. We’ll then look at this and reduce your entitlement. This means you’ve now been overpaid.

This means you’ll need to repay your loan overpayment separately and earlier than the rest of your loan balance. This also applies if you’re already having repayments taken from your salary or your Self Assessment tax return.

Loan overpayments are not subject to the normal repayment terms and conditions. They are exempt from both the repayment threshold and date from which they come into repayment.

Loan overpayments are a portion of your total balance that you’ve already been paid, but due to a change in your circumstances now needs to be repaid as you’re no longer entitled to it. They’re not additional charges or penalties.

Based on government regulations, Student Loans Company has a legal responsibility to recover any loan or grant overpayment.

Taking a break or permanently leaving your course?

We understand that circumstances change and you may need to:

  • take a break from your studies (suspend); or
  • permanently leave your course (withdraw).
If you decide to withdraw from or suspend your studies, it’s important you let us and your university or college know immediately. It’s also important to understand how this may result in an overpayment which needs to be:
  • deducted from future payments; or
  • repaid after you’ve left your course.

Withdrawing from your course or suspending your studies can affect your future student finance.

Still studying and unsure why you’ve received a letter about being overpaid?

Your student finance entitlement may be reassessed while studying which could result in an overpayment. If you’re overpaid we’ll send you a letter to let you know. You’ll also receive a new Notification of Entitlement letter showing your revised student finance for the academic year.

There can be many reasons why this will happen if you have not withdrawn from your course or suspended study. For example, failing to return evidence in time, like sponsor income information or actual childcare costs. A change in your circumstances can also result in a reassessment, for example, if you were living away from home to study but have now moved back.

Need more information?

To find out more information and what you need to do, select the option which applies: