Loan and grant overpayments

If you’re overpaid loans or grants while you’re in study, you’ll be expected to repay them before you’ve left your course.

Applies to England

This information is for students who applied through Student Finance England for financial support. See the following pages if you applied through:

What are loans and grants?

Loans are a repayable type of student finance which accrues interest and is provided to support you while studying – they include the Maintenance Loan and Tuition Fee Loan.

Grants are usually a non-repayable type of student finance to support you while studying. There are different types of grants you may be eligible to apply for, such as:

How we calculate your payments

When you apply to us for student finance and we’ve worked out how much you can get, you’ll be sent a Notification of Entitlement letter. This shows you what student finance you’ll get for the full academic year.

Your total student finance payments are split over three terms, and are paid at the start of each term to help with costs for the term ahead.

You remain entitled to the payments for each term if:

  • you continue to attend your university or college and don’t take a break, change or leave your course; and
  • all the necessary financial evidence to support the application is accurate and has been provided on time.

What is a loan or grant overpayment?

If you don’t comply with the requirements above, your entitlement for the academic year will be reassessed and reduced. As payments are made in advance of each term, the reduction will result in you being paid too much. This is known as an overpayment.


If you’re entitled to a Maintenance Loan of £6,000 this will be paid over three terms.

You’ll be paid £2,000 ahead of term 1

You’ll be paid another £2,000 ahead of term 2

You leave your course during term 2, this means you’re not entitled to the full £2,000 we’ve already paid you. We’ll reassess and reduce your entitlement. This means you’ve been overpaid.

Overpayments are a portion of your total balance that you’ve already been paid, which due to a change in your circumstances now need to be repaid as you’re no longer entitled to it. They’re not additional charges or penalties.

Loan overpayments are not subject to the normal repayment terms and conditions. They are exempt from both the repayment threshold and date from which they come into repayment.

This means you’ll need to repay your loan overpayment separately and earlier than the rest of your balance. This also applies if you’re already having repayments taken from your salary or your Self Assessment tax return.

What happens next

If you’ve been overpaid, we’ll send you a letter to let you know. You’ll also receive a new Notification of Entitlement letter showing your updated student finance entitlement for the academic year.

Based on government regulations, Student Loans Company has a legal responsibility to recover any loan or grant overpayment.  To prevent us passing your account to an external debt recovery agency, please contact us as soon as possible after receiving your overpayment letter.

Further information

There can be many reasons why an overpayment has happened. More detailed information based on your specific situation can be found on our other pages:

If you’re struggling financially because you’ve been overpaid and your student finance has been reduced, find out what help may be available.

Published 5 August 2022