Student loans company confirms monthly repayment threshold for graduates increases from April 2021

A letter has been sent to former students confirming that the monthly repayment threshold for paying back university fees has increased.

A student attending a graduation ceremony picture: JPI Media
A student attending a graduation ceremony picture: JPI Media

Currently, graduates have to earn at least £19,390 a year before deductions are made by Student Loans Company (SLC).

But from 6 April 2021, the repayment threshold will increase to £25,000.

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In a letter sent to a former student who is currently earning between those two salaries, seen by Edinburgh Evening News, the SLC said: “From 6 April 2021, your monthly repayment threshold will increase from £1,615 to £2,083. This means that you’ll only make repayments to your student loan if you’re earning over this amount each month.

“Nothing else is changing, including how much interest you’re charged or how and when you repay.”

The letter gave an example showing if a graduate is earning £2,083 a month, the current monthly repayment stands at £42, but under the new plan in April this figure will drop to £0.

Taylor Campbell, from Edinburgh, said the news has come as “such a relief” to graduates in her position.

"It’s really good news to see that this is happening,” the former Edinburgh student, 22, said.

"I haven’t had to start paying my loan back just yet as I graduated quite recently, but it’s been on my mind and it’s good to know it’s not another finance concern that I’ll have to think about just yet until I earn above that amount."

In response to graduates across the country receiving the confirmation this morning, Matt Crilly, NUS Scotland president, said: “It’s welcome news that the student loan repayment threshold will be increasing from April this year, and is a long time coming for many recent graduates, but is more important than ever given the economic disruption caused by the pandemic.

“Students will start paying back student loans once they see the benefit of their degree in their payslip. From 2021, students won’t have to pay back student loans until they’re earning £25,000 and over – up from £19,895 right now.

“We know that it is the poorest students who are taking on the most amount of debt already and so we need to see an ongoing commitment from the Scottish Government to reform the cost-of-living support system for students in Scotland.”