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Jamie-Law
Jamie-Law, Solicitor
Category: Law
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Experience:  Solicitor
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The Student Loan Company (England) are threatening to fine

Customer Question

the Student Loan Company (England) are threatening to fine me because my husband (who has no relationship with them whatsoever) will not sign a form which they sent to me confirming that he is "keeping"me and telling them how much support he gives me in pounds. I have told them that we share a joint account so he doesn't give me support as such and that he chose not to sign the form and now I am being harassed and threatened for not proving my lack of income. By the way - the Inland Revenue told them that I have no income - the IR believed the information that I gave them and accepted my signature .
Can the SLC fine me? Surely I cannot be punished for someone else's action / inaction? I have completed the SLC's form and returned it but I "pp'd" the section regarding my husband and signed it on his behalf.
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 1 month ago.

Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.

Do the terms and conditions of the loan, say they can fine you please?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
they do BUT what they want is outside my power to provide! It seems to me to be a very unfair contractual requirement since it demands that I get a third party to do something (i.e. sign my form.) The third party in this instance is my husband who says that my student loan is none of his business, he does not have a contract with the SLC and therefore he will NOT sign my form. It should be noted that I did not have to provide any details about him when I applied for the loan. The loan is not repayable on household income but is based purely on my income which at present is zero. I am 59 and am a housewife until I get my pension next year. I took out the loan because I wanted to do a PGCCE (Post grad course in Continuing Education) as I ran a private training company and I felt it would aid my business if I had a modern teaching qualification. The course was advertised as free but I had to apply for a student loan to pay the fees (I don't understand this either.) Because I was over 25 no account was taken of my husband's income and I did not have to provide any details about him.
When I telephoned the SLC they asked how I was living if I had no income and their view is that I must prove that my husband is supporting me. The form also asks by how much, which is very difficult to answer since we have joint accounts. He does not give me an allowance. They asked me to send copies of my bank statements showing the amount he pays into it but of course that does not happen. I will not send copies of joint account statements since that will reveal my husband's income to them and it is (as he states) none of their business. Repayments are based purely on my income by their own rules but they seem to be suspicious that I am concealing an income. They only knew that I had no income because the Inland Revenue told them. The IR are perfectly happy that I ma not earning and I cannot understand why this is not good enough for the SLC. Surely they cannot fine me based on what SOMEONE ELSE does or does no do??? How can this be a legal contractual requirement since my husband was not even named let alone agreed to the original loan application. I have complained to them and asked for the complaint to be escalated I have also written to the overseeing government department but have had no response. I am hoping that you can guide me as to how I can legally fight this as the response of the SLC has been to send me more copies of the same form saying that I have not responded, i.e. ignoring my response.
Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 1 month ago.

You could argue that the terms are unfair. As such this is because it was not your fault, you should not be punished for something which is someone else's fault.

So no you do not have to pay:

1) Its not your fault

2) The terms are unfair

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Thank you so much but the "fines" consist of them adding more interest to the loan so I am unsure as to how I can avoid paying them. The loan will be written off however when I get my state pension in 2023.
Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 1 month ago.

indeed. But they can not fine you as this was someone else's fault.

Does that clairfy?

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