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Jamie-Law, Solicitor
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Experience:  Solicitor
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I'm looking for some advice with regards to my student loans

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Hi there, I'm looking for some advice with regards ***** ***** student loans which I took out in 1992 and 1995. I have always been under the understanding that if I stayed in contact with the loan company and didn't default on payments my debt would be written off within 25 years. My student loan debt was sold at some stage to Thesis Servicing. They claim there is no provision for this. Even though I started earning above the minimum repayment threshold two years ago, I arranged to continue paying a reduced amount with the agreement from Thesis servicing. They still sent me arrears notices but said I could ignore them.
I'm looking for some support to see if its worth me pursuing my right to write off the debt.

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

Just to be clear, why do you think it is written off after 25 years?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi, I looked up the 1991 education (loans legislation) where it states that. I have attached the excerpt. What Im not sure about is that I had also been told that the loan would be written off if one always deferred and kept in contact with the loan company so no money was owed that had not been sanctioned as part of the loan. This equates to I guess what Thesis call arrears payments, but I have always called them and discussed repayments and they at one point allowed me to reduce my payments. The arrears have been accruing these last two years . However, I recently complained to Thesis service s that they had agreed to me to temporarily reduce my payments and that I should ignore letters of notification of arrears. They acknowledged They had not been clear about the agreement ..
My questions are: even though I have technically been in arrears, can i still claim the 25 year argument for writing off my debt? ( I would be happy to repay the arrears if it made a difference to my claim.). I can also forward you the email I received back regarding my complaint if it helped.

Have you made any payments?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I've paid when I've been earning over the minimum...but these last two years a smaller ( mutually agreed )monthly amount.

Did they say in writing it would be written off?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Smaller, that is, than the amounts they set on the repayment schedule. It's bizarre, because although the amount is agreed upon til June this year, they still say I'm in arrears. That doesn't worry me, unless it would affect my right have my loan written off. The obvious first question really is whether the write off clause applies to a student with loans from that period, and what exactly ' breach of obligation means' as per the education legislation doc.
Thesis have allowed me to continue with my lower payments for now, so despite being in arrears, I don't believe I've ever been in breach. Obviously, they are a debt collection agency so I'm cautious about how to go forward. I should add that I live in Australia. Probably doesn't make any difference, but I guess I'm wondering what they could do about it anyway if I stopped repaying. I d much keep it above board, but I have lots of costs, and the cost of living over here is high, so I really want to make sure I'm only repaying if I have to.

Did they saw in writing it would be written off?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
No , and it's always been something you just hear about. I used to be told you had to refer to the legislation yourself otherwise they don't advertise it....I ve just looked up other examples on the net of people who ve done this, but the debt got sold on and now I don't know where I stand legally. Surely the original legislation would still be relevant?

This is from their website:

  • took out your first student loan in or before academic year 2005/06, then it will be cancelled when you turn 65; or
  • took out your first student loan in or after academic year 2006/07, then it will be cancelled 25 years after you became eligible to repay,6678571&_dad=portal

Therefore it will be cancelled after 25 years. As such the original legislation still stands, it has not changed. Whether it is sold on makes no difference.

Can I clarify anything for you about this today, please?

If not, I would appreciate a 5-star rating for my answer. If you need anything further I am available for a follow up at no extra cost.

You can ignore it. Legally they can not issue proceedings against you.

The debt is written off after 25 years, no payments are required. So you do not need to pay anything.

You can't stop them chasing, but they can not take you to Court.

Can I clarify anything for you about this today, please?

If not, I would appreciate a 5-star rating for my answer. If you need anything further I am available for a follow up at no extra cost.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi there. Yes I saw that on their website. However it does actually contradict what I'm claiming if you read it. The only place where I can see it in writing is in the education legislation. I want to know about whether ' being in arrears' constitutes ' breach of obligation' as per the same doc.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I mean it says you have to be 65 or have taken out a loan after 2006 . I took my loans out in 1992/1293/ it contradicts what the legislation of 1991 says. I'm not 65 for another 21 years so it's clearly giving an alternative picture as far as I can see.

Have they confirmed in writing they will write odd after 25 years?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
No, as I said on the 2/1 it was always something I had heard others tell me about as students..and as I looked up the legislation it seemed to support this...

However there own claims says 25 years, would you agree?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The only place I ve found anything in writing is in the 1991 legislation. I rang the original student loan company today. They were very vague but admitted they have something on their internal website which I wouldn't be able to access. They read out the exact same clause that I ve seen on the legislation about the write off , but wouldn't say where they got it from, and repeatedly told me to contact thesis services for clarification. If I was a cynic, I'd say there was a conspiracy here! Thesis told me there is no such thing as a write off....

You can ask that they do it, according to their website.

You can say, as a Public Body, that you have a legitimate expectation. That is, according to their website it should be written off and as such it ought to be.

If they refuse then you can consider a Judicial Review.

This is where the matter goes before a High Court Judge who decides whether their stance is legal and reasonable.

The Court can agree with their decision or remit if back for further consideration.

For more information on that process please see:

But you can argue that, a legitimate expectation.

Can I clarify anything for you about this today, please?

If not, I would appreciate a 5-star rating for my answer. If you need anything further I am available for a follow up at no extra cost.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi again, I'm afraid you have not understood the situation, and have not answered my questions. There is no reference to the write off on Thesis Services website, so the last answer is not relevant. I have clarified a number of points but you have not actually made any more headway than the information I knew already. So, I m happy to keep working on this with you, or I can ask for my money back. I do appreciate your efforts, but I actually need something tangible.I need to know whether the government legislation is enough evidence for me to use when I contact Thesis, and I need to know whether ' being in arrears' (quoted by Thesis servicing) is the same as 'breach of obligation' (as per the government legislation.The quotes you refer to are not on the Thesis servicing website, they are on the student loans website. As I told you earlier, the Student loans company sold their debt to Thesis, and have washed their hands of it. Also, the quotes on the Student Loans website are to do with the new Mortgage style loans. My loans are from an earlier period (hence my need to hang everything on the relevant legislation).
If this information is outside your area of expertise, Im happy to try and find help from elsewhere, but as it stands Im not sure that you understand what I need. (I may not be making myself clear enough either!). Apologies for taking up your time.

Yes, Government legislation is enough when contacting Thesis.

Thesis may have the debt but they can ONLY collect if it is legal for them to do si.

Does that clarify?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Ok. that helps...I ll keep researching the rest mhyself. Thanks for your time

All the best and good luck.

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