Emigrating Brit graduates: what happens to your student loan?
July 23, 2014
A recent poll has revealed 70 per cent of the UK’s 350,000 students graduating this year are considering or planning a move abroad to better their career opportunities, and for an improved quality of life.
New York was top of the list with 58 per cent and Los Angeles with 26 per cent. Australia also appeared attractive, with 58 per cent of graduates heading for Sydney, and 23 per cent choosing Melbourne.
If you are emigrating abroad or thinking about it, it’s important to consider your current financial state and any debts you have before you leave.
Whether you’re emigrating or staying put in the UK, your student loan isn’t going anywhere. You’ll still be contracted to the agreement and are legally and morally responsible for repayments.
If you are thinking about emigrating or have already decided to go, it is up to you to inform the Student Loans Company (SLC) if you’re leaving the country for more than three months. If so, you will have to fill out an Overseas Income Assessment form.
If you don’t get in touch with the SLC when emigrating or don’t stick to repayments, you may be at risk of hefty penalties by HM Revenue and Customs.
Overseas Income Assessment form
When you complete the form, you must send the SLC details about your employment and income overseas. You’ll need to specify the currency of any income and prove you can support yourself financially. The SLC will confirm whether payments are due, the amount applicable and help you to arrange payments.
Returning to the UK
If you return to the UK for less than three months, you will still be seen as an overseas payer. If you return for more than three months you must let the SLC know so that repayments can return to the UK system. If you don’t, you could risk paying double each month.
When moving overseas, there are a million and one things to remember but it’s important to update your address and contact details with bodies such as the SLC, so you’re not at risk of costly penalties.
Find out more information about embarking on your adventure of a lifetime here.