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Student loans

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by nikki2482, Aug 28, 2020.

  1. nikki2482

    nikki2482 New commenter

    Hi everyone. Hoping for some advice firsthand on student loan repayments.

    I am starting a job in Thailand. I have already claimed back tax for this year so haven't needed to notify HMRC I'm leaving. I thought I would contact SLC once settled.

    I have just had a letter through from SLC asking me to confirm my employment (I haven't worked for the past few months so it's triggered on their system.) When going to their website the only way I can declare I will be earning in Thailand is to provide 3 months payslips! Not sure how to proceed. Those people that did provide 3 months payslips did they ask for proof of start of job, as the payslips aren't evidence of this (as in did they backdate payments?)

    The other option is to notify HMRC , which will trigger them telling SLC I am moving to Thailand and they will write to me there. Those people that did this route, what information did they ask for and again, were payments backdated?

    I've heard of people paying the fixed amount for the country and not declaring their income but how do you get around notifying them of your new job without declaring what you earn?

    Any help would be appreciated as it'sa mindfield. Thanks.
    install likes this.
  2. motorhomer

    motorhomer New commenter

    The way it worked my friend - Call SLC & tell them that you are working in Thailand. They will tell you to complete an overseas form but make a note that you are in Thailand. If you don't respond, they will start sending reminder letters to your address & eventually warn that you will be charged the default rate for the country that you are now working in.
    install likes this.
  3. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    You have plenty of time before you need to inform them - it's several months before they decide you're non-compliant, so you will be able to wait until you have those 3 payslips.

    They don't back date the payments, so don't worry about that.

    They used to ask for a copy of the contract too - I don't know if they still do. They've changed everything to online now.
    install and nikki2482 like this.
  4. rosaespanola

    rosaespanola New commenter

    When I first moved abroad SLC asked me for a copy of my contract showing my pay.
    It's worth knowing that if you tell them you're in Thailand but don't provide pay slips/a contract, they'll automatically put you on the default rate for Thailand and this is likely to be substantially less than what they'd charge you based on your wage. It depends if your priority is paying off your loan as soon as you can, or keeping your repayments as low as possible.
  5. TreeMaroonDog15

    TreeMaroonDog15 New commenter

    I remember reading somewhere that if your pay is split into two or more parts (basic salary, additional allowances, housing allowances) then you could try and get away with only showing your basic salary to SLC, which could also keep your repayments low.
    install likes this.
  6. Mitochondria1

    Mitochondria1 Occasional commenter

    I sent them all the documents when I left, by recorded delivery, saw that it was received, and never heard back from them again...still waiting for a reply...
  7. motorhomer

    motorhomer New commenter

    Yes, this would work. I think SLC are just happy that they can cross your name off of their list.
    TreeMaroonDog15 and install like this.
  8. install

    install Star commenter

    Agree. Good advice.
  9. gulfgolf

    gulfgolf Established commenter

    Consider making higher payments and paying it off quickly. What a joy to be free of debt plus save so much in interest.
    install likes this.
  10. Mitochondria1

    Mitochondria1 Occasional commenter

    Terrible advice. Pay the bare minimum, treat it as a graduate tax, invest the money you would otherwise waste, and have it cancelled when you retire.
  11. install

    install Star commenter

    Spot on. Brilliant advice and I agree totally. No one wants debt around their neck.
    gulfgolf likes this.
  12. Mitochondria1

    Mitochondria1 Occasional commenter

    Really good guide here:


    TL;DR, pay off the bare minimum. Nothing more. It's not normal debt.
  13. install

    install Star commenter

    Pay it off early if you can and even better ‘overpay’ if you can:

    ‘Can I defer payment? No – but you only repay if you are earning above £19,390 (£19,895 from 6 April 2021). Other thresholds apply if you live overseas – see the SLC's table.

    How to overpay: You can make a payment any time you wish, by card, cheque or bank transfer. See the SLC payments page for details.’ (moneysavingexpert.com)
    gulfgolf likes this.
  14. TreeMaroonDog15

    TreeMaroonDog15 New commenter

    Normally this is sound advice but with student loans things are a little different. Like others mentioned above you only repay your student loan once you are earning over a certain amount, if you drop below that amount you stop having to pay back the loan. Plus it gets wiped automatically after 30 years or so. Why pay a load of money to pay off something that you don't have to? Additionally a student loan isn't classed as debt and won't affect any credit ratings.
  15. motorhomer

    motorhomer New commenter

    Totally agree.
  16. install

    install Star commenter

    Spot on - unless it’s paid off fast to get rid of the debt which is always the wisest way.
  17. TeacherMan19

    TeacherMan19 Occasional commenter

    If you are likely to pay off the debt in full before it is cancelled then you can seek to overpay to reduce interest. However, if you are not on track to pay it off within the 25/30 years then I suggest minimal payments and letting the term run it's course before wiping.
    install and motorhomer like this.
  18. lottee1000

    lottee1000 Occasional commenter

    Depending on when you got your loan, it might not be cancelled after 30 years. Some aren't, so check that.
  19. TeacherMan19

    TeacherMan19 Occasional commenter

    Any idea which kind don't? I thought there was only 2 types. I know mine do is all.
  20. Mitochondria1

    Mitochondria1 Occasional commenter

    Yes, you and Lottee1000 raise a good point, it does depend on the type of loans you're on.
    The pre-1998s loans are handled slightly differently to most, and I don't know enough about them.
    Up until 2012, the loans are written off at 65, after 2012, they are written off after 30 years.
    For post-1998 loans, there really is no benefit to overpaying AT ALL as it won't actually make a difference to your repayments over 30 years...

    ' Student loan & interest: £20,000. Your earnings: £36,575.
    As you repay 9% of everything above £26,575 your annual repayment is £900.

    - Student loan & interest: £50,000. Your earnings: £36,575.
    As you repay 9% of everything above £26,575 your annual repayment is £900.

    - To get silly to prove a point: student loan & interest: £1 billion. Your earnings: £36,575.
    As you repay 9% of everything above £26,575 your annual repayment is £900.'

    This paragraph made me laugh :)

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