Repaying student loans through PAYE
If you started your course in or after 1998, how you repay your loan will depend on how you are paid. If you are in employment, the repayment of your student loan will be worked out for you by your employer and it will be taken directly from your salary.
How repayments are made through PAYE
If you work as an employee and pay tax and National Insurance through the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) Scheme, your employer will calculate and subtract student loan repayments due each pay period, based on your earnings for that period. The Student Loans Company will advise HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) when you are due to begin repayment.
Your employer's role
At the end of each financial year, your employer will tell HMRC how much you have repaid by advising them of your deductions. HMRC will then send these details on to the Student Loans Company. HMRC and the Student Loans Company will only be informed of your total repayments at the end of each financial year. No information about repayments, balances and collection will be passed between the Student Loans Company and HMRC other than during these repayment information transfers.
How your employer knows what to do
Every January, HMRC issues all employers with a briefing pack which explains how to calculate your deductions. They also advise your employer when deductions should start and stop. If your employer has any queries, they should contact the HMRC employers helpline. The Student Loans Company will not discuss details of your loan with your employer, even if they are calling on your behalf. If you have any queries about PAYE or Self Assessment deductions, your local tax office will be able to assist you.
If you change employer
If you are already making student loan repayments, your new employer will continue to make deductions. Your old employer will give you a P45 and this will show that you are a student loan account holder. You should:
- keep parts two and three of your P45 safe until you start your new job, and keep part 1A for your own records
- when you start your new job, pass your new employer parts 2 and 3 of your P45
Your new employer will send part three of your P45 to HMRC to confirm that you have started a new job and student loan deductions will be made from your first salary providing that your income exceeds the threshold.
If you do not have a P45 from previous employment, have previously been paid under the PAYE tax threshold or are starting work for the first time, your employer is required to send a P46 form to HMRC. This has a box for you to tick to let your new employer know that they need to start taking deductions for student loans.
If you pay tax by both PAYE and Self Assessment
You will be required to calculate any student loan repayments due through Self Assessment as well as any repayments which are required through PAYE if you:
- work as an employee and are also self employed
- pay tax at a higher rate
- have unearned income from stocks, shares and savings
Student loan repayments should be made at the same time as you pay your tax and National Insurance.
Records to keep
If you want the Student Loans Company to calculate your balance between statements, you must keep:
- your wage slips
- your P60 form (given to you at the end of each tax year by your employer)
- your P45 and / or P46 if you have them
When repayments are due to end
If you would like to estimate when you will finish repaying your student loans, particularly if your annual statement indicates that it is likely to be in the current financial year, the Student Loans Company can predict when you are expected to complete repayment. They can also advise HMRC to stop making deductions. Send relevant P60s (if available) as well as all wage slips for the tax year to the Student Loans Company, and the calculation will be made for you.
If you think you have repaid in full
Based upon the information received from HMRC, the Student Loans Company will contact you if they believe that you will shortly complete repayment of your loan. If this is right, they will also contact the HMRC who will in turn advise your employer to stop making deductions from your salary.
Your employer has 42 days to act upon this notice. It is possible that deductions may continue for one or two months after your loan account is paid in full.
If so, write to the Student Loans Company enclosing your wage slips to show these extra deductions, and any overpayments will be refunded to you together with interest at the same rate as you paid on your loan.