Coronavirus - Get the latest updates and resources from MyWalletHero - Find out more.
Advertiser Disclosure

How to get student loan repayment help during Covid-19

How to get student loan repayment help during Covid-19
Image source: Getty Images


Covid-19 has had a widespread impact on personal finances up and down the country. And students have not been exempt. If you are worried about your student loan repayment, we’re here to point you in the right direction. Let’s break down where to find help, what you need to do and what to watch out for.

How can I get help with my student loan repayment?

If your financial circumstances have changed, you may be worried about making your student loan repayments. The important thing to know is that you only make repayments once you’re earning over the repayment threshold. So if your income drops below the thresshold, your repayments stop.

One of the first things you should check is the type of loan you have. If your course started before 1 September 2012, or you have a loan from the student finance agencies in Northern Ireland or Scotland, then you’ll be on Plan 1. If your course started on or after 1 September 2012 in England or Wales, then you will be on Plan 2.

Then the thresholds for repayments are as follows:

Plan 1: You’ll pay back 9% of everything you earn above £372 a week or £1,615 a month.

Plan 2: You’ll pay back 9% of everything you earn above £511 a week or £2,214 a month.

So, if coronavirus has meant your income has dropped below the threshold, then your repayments will stop. When you start working again or your income increases, then they will start back up again.

Meanwhile, if you have made a repayment and then your earnings have dropped below the threshold, you could be entitled to a refund. In order to access this, you need to apply through the Student Loans Company (SLC). You’ll need to provide evidence that your annual income for the tax year was below the repayment threshold for your student loan plan.

Who do I contact for help?

Everyone’s circumstances are different. And there are some scenarios where you may need to contact the SLC.

For example, if you are living overseas and you are no longer working, you will need to update your employment details with the SLC. To do this, you’ll need to provide evidence of the change in your income. Or you’ll need to write a covering letter explaining your circumstances.

You may have arrears or an overpayment schedule in place, but can no longer afford to make the repayments. In this case, you won’t be contacted or penalised. But when normal service resumes, the SLC will be in touch.

The good news is that after a temporary closure, the SLC contact centre is now open again. For other information and advice regarding your student loan repayments, you can also visit gov.uk or the Money Advice Service.

How do I avoid scams?

Unfortunately, there are student loan phishing scams about. They can happen at any time but students are often targeted around payment dates at the start of term. So new students have been warned not to be tricked into disclosing personal details or clicking links in emails or text messages. 

If you are a new or existing student, or you are still making loan repayments, then you should be aware of the following:

    • The SLC or Student Finance England (SFE) will never ask you to confirm your login or personal information by email or text message.
    • Phishing emails usually do not contain your first and last name. Be on guard if you receive something that starts ‘Dear student’.
    • Misspellings, poor punctuation and bad grammar can indicate phishing.
    • Beware of messages with a sense of urgency. For example ‘failure to respond in 24 hours will result in account closure’.
    • Think before you click. Try hovering over the link to see where it’s supposed to take you. Where possible go directly to the source rather than using a link.

Other information

Check out our articles if you want to find out more about student loan interest rates, or whether or not to pay off your student loan early.

In addition, if you are currently a student and are interested in getting a credit card, check out our top picks for the best student credit card.

Content Disclaimer: We have taken reasonable steps to ensure that any information provided is accurate at the time of publishing. The content provided in this article has not taken into account the circumstances of any specific individual, and does not constitute personal advice or a personal recommendation for any individual; neither should it be relied upon by any individual when making any decisions. If you require any personal advice or personal recommendation, please speak to an appropriate qualified adviser.

What next?

If you’re looking for more ways to make your money work for you, why not sign up for MyWalletHero’s email newsletter? You’ll receive our team’s top money-saving tips, lifestyle hacks and handy personal finance ‘must-knows’ – delivered straight to your inbox…

Just enter your email address below to sign up now:

By checking this box and submitting your email address, you agree to MyWalletHero sending you emails with money tips, along with details of products and services that we think might interest you. You can unsubscribe from future emails at any time. You also consent to us processing your personal data in line with our privacy policy, and our cookie statement. For more information, including how we collect, store, and handle personal data, please read our Privacy Statement and Terms & Conditions.


Content Disclaimer: We have taken reasonable steps to ensure that any information provided is accurate at the time of publishing. The content provided in this article has not taken into account the circumstances of any specific individual, and does not constitute personal advice or a personal recommendation for any individual; neither should it be relied upon by any individual when making any decisions. If you require any personal advice or personal recommendation, please speak to an appropriate qualified adviser.

Some offers on MyWalletHero are from our partners — it’s how we make money and keep this site going. But does that impact our ratings? Nope. Our commitment is to you. If a product isn’t any good, our rating will reflect that, or we won’t list it at all. Also, while we aim to feature the best products available, we do not review every product on the market. Learn more here. The statements above are The Motley Fool’s alone and have not been provided or endorsed by bank advertisers. John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Barclays, Hargreaves Lansdown, HSBC Holdings, Lloyds Banking Group, Mastercard, and Tesco.