I graduated from university and entered the word of work a year and a half ago, beginning the repayment of my student loan pretty much straight away. Each month a percentage of my salary is deducted for the repayment before it even hits my bank account, and I never really give it much thought.
I realised this morning it had been some time since I had seen a statement from Student Loan Company, and also that I actually had no idea what my total debt was. After a quick rummage in my very organised filing system (bottom drawer along with birth certificate, photo albums and some unidentified computer cables), I managed to find a statement. Dated June 2006. With the address listed as my second student house. Oops.
What about online statements I hear you say. Ah yes, online statements! Good idea. Ok, please enter ART ID. What the deuce is an ART ID? Oh that could be it. Yes. Password. Ok most likely this. Now, just for the Secret Answer Question... In what city did you meet your partner? Partner? I don't have a partner! I have a university history of various flings and short relationships, but at no point would I have called anyone my 'partner'. Surely I can't have chosen this question? Maybe I was drunk. I proberbly chose it when drunk back in 2006 and that is why I can't remember it.
Time to call a human I think.
So, after a helpful conversation with a lovely Scotsman I am now armed with my ART ID number (completely different to what I thought it was), email resetting my online password and the total balance of my debt. I owe a grand total of £13,133. Which is not actually as bad as I thought it would be, especially for a Classics degree from one of the top 5 departments in the country. I had it in my head that the debt was over £18,000, so it is quite a relief really.
Another nugget of information I found out from my telephone conversation was that even though repayments are deducted straight from my wage on a monthly basis, my employer does not pass that money on to the SLC until the end of the tax year. Meaning my employer is earning interest my money! This had made me somewhat annoyed. And apparently it is not possible to opt out of the wage deductions if there is still an outstanding balance on the loan.
If they only require one lump payment to be made a year then I surely I should be able to put that money aside in a savings account and earn interest on it - not my employer.