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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
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Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I have a dispute with Erudio student loans, who purchased

Customer Question

I have a dispute with Erudio student loans, who purchased the 'mortgage style' student loans from the student loan company in 2013.
Like many thousands of complainants, Erudio have handled my account appallingly since they took over.
Please do quick web search for 'Erudio problems' or something similar and you will see the net is awash with anger, Mr Martin Lewis being the champion of the fightback.
I am 50 in January, 2017 and the balance on my Erudio Loan will be written off, so long as there are no arrears on the account, as there have never been until Erudio took over.
I graduated in 2000 and the loans were taken out in 1996 and 1999.
The first year (2014-2015) they did not process my deferment application for 9 months and put the account balance in arrears for that period.
They initially said the had not received the supporting financial evidence and did the usual 'blame the IT', despite the Sarah Fergusan v British Gas case.
Eventually, they accepted responsibility for the problems, paid me £100.00 compensation and ROLLED THE ARREARS BACK 3 MONTHS ONLY, leaving me with 6 months of arrears through no fault of my own.
After another formal complaint, they fully rolled back the arrears balance to nil.
The same happened for the year 2015-2016.
Again, they initially stated (in writing this time) that they had not received the deferment forms, which I always send by recorded delivery.
I resent them and presumed the deferment was in place.
I then received an arrears notice stating that I was 3 months in arrears.
In response, I telephoned them and they now stated that they had received the forms, but were unable to process them because I was unwilling to agree to the new terms and conditions they had now attached to the deferment application form (as have many thousands of customers).
I did sign and date the form, but below the signature commented that the revised clause relating to sharing information with the credit references was a clear attempt to change the terms and conditions in Erudios favour.
I made a formal complaint and was told that arrears would continue to accrue until the complaint was processed.
Eventually, the complaint was dealt with and I was told that the the new deferment form did not change the terms relating to sharing of information with credit reference agencies (surprise, surprise) as they only were only intended to 'clarify matters'.
However, they still refused to process my deferment application unless I retracted my comment relating to the sharing of information with the credit reference agencies.
To reiterate, Erudios' position was that after 9 months, they would not process my application, even though they considered that there were no changes to the fundamental terms and conditions.
I find this illogical.
I then referred the matter relating to the change in terms and conditions to the Ombudsman (adjudicator at present), which is a very slow process.
However, the matter of the continued build up of arrears was not part of this referral.
I did not feel this necessary, as Erudio had told me on 2 occasions that the account was put on hold, until the dispute was concluded.
By 'on hold', I assumed arrears would not be added as it was accepted that I was entitled to deferment, but for the comment that I had added to the deferment application form.
Yesterday I received a default notice stating that if I did not settle the £1211.43 arrears demanded by 14/06/16, legal action for recovery of the whole loan balance may be commenced.
My question does not relate to the attempt to change the terms and conditions, but simply to the arrears.
The arrears have accrued through no fault of my own, I have been told on 2 occasions that the account was 'on hold' and when I spoke with Erudio yesterday, they basically said TUFF!
Under the Student Loan Act 1990 and the 1998 Regulations, I am entitled to a deferment, irrespective of a disagreement over relatively minor issues.
I met the financial criteria, dated and signed the forms, but no deferment, just a massive arrears bill and a default notice
What can I do.
Obviously, I consider that Erudio has fundamentally breached their contractual obligations in refusing to process my deferment.
But any legal action in relation to that will be a lengthy process, so any positive advice will be greatly appreciated.
Richard Bowler
PS I have an LLb, LPC, Masters in construction law, but construction ADR is my field.
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 6 months ago.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you.What is it you want to achieve please?Alex

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