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Repaying student loans when you move overseas

If you are planning to live overseas for more than three months, let the Student Loans Company know as soon as possible. The amount you earn abroad before you start repaying your Student Loan may not be the same as in the UK.

Before you move overseas

Let the Student Loans Company know if you are planning to live abroad for more than three months

If you are planning to live outside the UK for more than three months, you must inform the Student Loans Company before you leave. You will be asked to complete an ‘Overseas Income Assessment Form’, giving details of your income and employment status. The Student Loans Company will then send you a letter that:

  • confirms whether repayments are due
  • if applicable, notes your monthly repayment amount
  • helps you to arrange direct repayments

If you do not inform the Student Loans Company about your circumstances, you may be subject to penalties. If you move outside the UK for less than three months, you will continue to be treated as a UK taxpayer - you do not need to inform the Student Loans Company before you go.

Completing the Overseas Income Assessment Form

Completing an Overseas Income Assessment Form allows you to provide details of your circumstances and prospective income. When completing the form, remember:

Don’t use the Overseas Income Assessment Form to apply to defer your Student Loan – there’s a different form for this. See ‘Deferring repayment of your Student Loan’ to find out how to get a copy, but remember you can only apply for deferment if you took out the Student Loan for a course starting before September 1998.

While you are overseas

Every year, the Student Loans Company will automatically send you a reassessment form and letter, on the assumption that you remain overseas.

If your income changes while you are overseas

If your income rises or falls while you are making student loan repayments, contact the Student Loans Company in order for your required repayments to be reassessed.

Student Loan repayment thresholds abroad

As with UK residents, once your income goes above the Student Loan repayment threshold, you will be required to make student loan repayments. You repay nine percent of your total earnings over this threshold. However, because of differences in living costs, your repayment threshold when living abroad may not be the same as it is in the UK. Follow the link below to find repayment thresholds in different countries. These thresholds are updated each year to take account of price changes.

Returning to the UK

If you return to the UK for less than three months, you will continue to be treated as an overseas repayer. However, if your time in the UK then exceeds three months, you must let the SLC know, as your repayment status will revert to that of a UK taxpayer. If you don’t inform SLC, you may end up making repayments both by direct debit as an overseas repayer and via Pay As You Earn (PAYE) if you find employment in the UK.

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