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Tackling your debts

Can you get debt help for student loans?

Posted 15 September 2016

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When it comes to debt solutions, student debts aren’t always like other debts – but that doesn’t mean a plan can’t help.

If you’ve been struggling with payments to a lot of different debts, it can be easy to get confused about what you owe. For example, you might have a whole host of separate payments all spread out throughout the month, and it’s a real challenge to keep on top of them.

That’s one reason why you might consider starting a debt solution, so you can combine all of your individual debts into a single, lower, monthly payment. But if you’re looking at debt help, will you be able to include your student loan in this? Let’s take a look at how debt solutions can help with a student loan.

Student loans on a debt solution

Whether or not you’ll be able to add your student debts into a debt solution will depend on where you got the loan from. If it’s an official student loan from the Student Loans Company, you can’t include this in a debt solution. This is because it’s, in effect, a loan from the government and you don’t have to make any individual payments towards it – it just comes off your salary. And if you’re earning under the threshold, you won’t have to pay anything anyway.

But if you’ve got a personal loan, or an overdraft, from a bank, building society or another provider while you were a student, you can get debt help for this. It’s just an unsecured debt like any other loan even though when you took it out, it might have been aimed at students. You might have taken one of these out during your course to help with living costs.

If you’re not sure whether your student loan is from the official Student Loans Company or if it’s just an unsecured personal loan, get in touch with a debt advisor – they’ll be able to tell you who you owe the money to.

Find my solution

How a debt solution could help

While a debt solution won’t be able to help with your official student loan, there may be a solution that can help with any other debts you took on while you were at university. Whether you took out a payday loan to help with your rent, opened any store cards to spread the cost of any shopping trips or racked up a balance on a credit card or an overdraft, you can add all of these debts to a debt solution if you’re struggling with them.

If it feels like your official student loan is a drain on your income and you’ve just not got enough to make ends meet after your other debt repayments, a debt solution could help with this too. When you’re starting any debt solution, a debt advisor will go through your income and outgoings – that’s everything you’re bringing in and the essential bills and other expenses you have every month. 

They’ll make an allowance for all of the important costs and everything else will go towards your debt solution. This means you won’t have to struggle to afford your bills and other financial commitments any more – everything is included in your budget. If you’re starting a formal debt solution such as an IVA or bankruptcy, a debt advisor might ask you to cut back on your spending in some areas if they think you’re setting aside more than usual for a certain expense.

Seek advice

You can get in touch with one of our debt advisors by using any of the options to the left. They’ll be able to talk through the different debt solutions available and let you know which – if any – are the most suitable for you. This will depend on your circumstances – how much you owe, how much income you have and where you live in the UK.

Once you know which solution is best for you, it’s likely to feel like a weight off your shoulders as you work towards becoming debt free. And don’t ever worry that your debt problems have got too serious for a debt solution – there’s a solution available for every situation.

by Emily Bancroft

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To find out more about managing your money and getting free debt advice, visit Money Advice Service, an independent service set up to help people manage their money.