Before you move overseas
If you are planning to live outside the UK for more than three months, you must update 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 update the Student Loans Company about your circumstances, you may incur 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 tell 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:
- to specify the currency of any earned/unearned income
- to send evidence that shows the Student Loans Company how you support yourself financially
- to sign and date the form - if you are signing on behalf of the borrower you must enclose a letter from them, giving you authority to do so
- Overseas Income Assessment Form (OVFA)
- Student Loans Company repayment helpline (for courses starting from 1998)
You need a different form if you want to apply to postpone your Student Loan. See ‘Deferring repayment of your Student Loan’ to find out how to get a copy.
While you are overseas
Every year, the Student Loans Company will automatically send you a reassessment form and letter, on the assumption that you stay 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 per cent 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 re-payer. 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 update SLC, you may end up making repayments both by direct debit as an overseas re-payer and via Pay As You Earn (PAYE) if you find employment in the UK.