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UK Student Loans Company

 
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Sez



Joined: 19 Mar 2003
Posts: 32

PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2003 12:18 pm    Post subject: UK Student Loans Company Reply with quote

Hi,

I'm looking at going to Japan early next year and am concerned as to what I should tell the Student Loans Company.

I took out a loan through the Student Loans Company here in the UK (this is the company everyone in higher education gets their loan from).
They say on their website that you should inform them if you go abroad so that they can deduct money from your salary whilst you are there. Otherwise, it is threatened that they will put phenominal interest and charges on top of the debt already outstanding.

I wondered if anyone else in the UK can tell me what you did about your student loan - did you inform the Student Loans Company (and consequentially have to make repayments abroad), or did you just scarper the UK along with your student debt (I know this can be done - for a period at least).

Any feedback would be much appreciated.
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dyak



Joined: 25 Jun 2003
Posts: 630

PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2003 10:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm wondering about this too; I'm about to go abroad myself, and since I won't be earning anywhere near the amount required to enforce the 'now you must pay back your loan clause' I think I'll keep them on a need to know basis.

Though it depends on whether you've already started paying them off, if you have then telling them you're going abroad won't matter too much, especially as Japan is (so I've heard) lucrative enough to easily keep up the repayments.

Then again, they probably have a 'hunt you down' policy and I think on the yearly deferment form you have to give your whereabouts...

Cheers
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Glenski



Joined: 15 Jan 2003
Posts: 12844
Location: Hokkaido, JAPAN

PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2003 11:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dyak wrote:

Quote:
Japan is (so I've heard) lucrative enough to easily keep up the repayments.


I can cite you figures for how much money you'll have at the end of each paycheck. To use the word "lucrative" is not doing justice to the whole scheme of things in Japan.

With a bachelor's degree, you can expect to make 250,000 to 300,000 yen/month (depending on whether you get a great eikaiwa job or an average one, or if you go on the JET program). Figure on spending about 120,000 yen per month on basic necessities (this varies considerably with your location and rental agreement, of course). So, if you have an average eikaiwa job, you'll wind up with 250,000 - 120,000 = 130,000 yen each month to spend on everything else in your life:

insurance
medical emergencies
snacks, tobacco, alcohol
sightseeing
travel (whatever is not covered on your employer's local reimbursement)
souvenirs and gifts
postage
phone calls, Internet
other entertainment costs (clubs, plays, concerts, official outings/parties)
any reading material
rental videos and movies
trips back home
and those student loans back home

Going out drinking/clubbing twice a week will cost you 30,000 to 50,000 yen per month, for example. And, that's for a moderate drinker.

Unless you are very stingy, you typically wind up with about 70,000 yen per month to use on your student loans.

I have a friend who paid off his Canadian student loans in 3 years while living in Japan. He had a girlfriend here who drove him whenever they went out, but he lived very thriftily otherwise. So, it can be done, but you pay the price, so to speak.
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Wolf



Joined: 10 May 2003
Posts: 1245
Location: Middle Earth

PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2003 2:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glenski wrote:


I have a friend who paid off his Canadian student loans in 3 years while living in Japan. He had a girlfriend here who drove him whenever they went out, but he lived very thriftily otherwise. So, it can be done, but you pay the price, so to speak.


I did it in two years. Mind you, I only owed about 17 000 US$ or so. I lived simply. I don't smoke or drink. No vacations, trips home, or extravagant purchases.

I did move twice, sign up for national health insurance and take Japanese classes; and work a bit on the side part time. My extra costs more than ate up my paltry extra income (which varied between 263 000 - 275 000 per month)

Getting out of debt was a huge priority of mine (and obsession perhaps?)

insurance - National (that did get pricey)

medical emergencies - none, knock on wood. One hospital trip for the flu, and a couple of trips to the dentist, but that's life. I'll add to this that I joined an (admittedly pricey) gym to keep in shape.

snacks, tobacco, alcohol - few, none, none

sightseeing - none til the loan was gone

travel (whatever is not covered on your employer's local
reimbursement)
- none til the loan was gone

souvenirs and gifts - none

postage - email

phone calls, Internet - cell phone, free at work

other entertainment costs (clubs, plays, concerts, official outings/parties) - free Noh plays a couple of time a month. Free music concerts here and there (had friends in the know) Official outings were paid for my my school.

any reading material - I'd spurge on books a bit, but as I began buying manga after a while (when I could read it.) Japanese textbooks were another weakness of mine

rental videos and movies - maybe 2000 - 2500 a month, but I rented a lot of anime, which had a special "kids' video" price. Expect a bit more.

trips back home - none

and those student loans back home - managed 100 000 to 120 000 per month -after my first move five months in - with a couple of exceptions.

I entertained myself by learing the language. I could have partied it up a lot more, but in retrospect I'm glad I didn't.
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Glenski



Joined: 15 Jan 2003
Posts: 12844
Location: Hokkaido, JAPAN

PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2003 3:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wolf,

Thanks for that very detailed account of how you saved enough money to pay back your student loan. Much appreciated.

Just one quick question, if you don't mind. Did you say that you earned 263 000 - 275 000 per month in extra income, on top of a regular salary of about the same? Just checking, because even though that's definitely the way to go, it makes a difference in how you live and how you contemplate a lifestyle before coming here. What was the extra income, anyway? Part-time job, private lessons, etc?

Thanks again.
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Wolf



Joined: 10 May 2003
Posts: 1245
Location: Middle Earth

PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2003 8:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry.

Year 1 - Worked at NOVA. Base salry (this was 4 years ago) 263 000/month.

Year 2,3 - Worked at a defunct company called Grandom (owned by a still existing publishing company called Gakuin). Year 2 salry - 273 000. Year 3 salry - 275 000.

I got the odd overtime day here and there. Five or six 18 000 yen days from NOVA (thier old OT system of 2300 per lesson). I also got a couple of days from my other job, (about 12 000 per day give or take) but as we went out of business due to lack of students, you can guess that it wasn't a whole lot.

What I earned in year 3 I squirrled away for my MA (saved about 70% of what I need.) This included a modest severance package from my school - which was part miracle, part union wrangling.

I worked part time one day a week (at another language school) for a few months when I was at NOVA. Added 28 000/mo to my income. I had to quit this job when I left NOVA (scheduling conflict with the full time job.)

Both full time jobs reimbursed commuting fees.

I worked part time for GABA (the teach at your apartment thing. Full time work with them ... check the net....) Added between 20 000 and 30 000 per month to my income.

I had class three mornings a week, plus the study I did on my own, so I didn't want to do much more work.

So I made between 263 000 - 295 000 per month (the odd OT day might bring me to about 310 000). I lived in Nagoya, so cost of living wasn't up to Tokyo/Osaka exuberance. Finding as much part time work as I did is no sweat off anyone's back.
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lajzar



Joined: 09 Feb 2003
Posts: 647
Location: Saitama-ken, Japan

PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2003 10:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[warning: UK specific info here]

The current income threshold bfore you have to pay back the loan is GBP 1752 a month. You can of course voluntarily pay even if you are earning less than that. This is about 350,000 yen a month. As your first job in Japan, it is HIGHLY unlikely your base income will exceed this. Therefore, the best thing to do is give them full contact details, and get your employer to write the SLC a letter stating your monthly income. You should then be in the clear and not be obliged to make any payments.

You can of course dissappear without a trace, which is a great idea if you have no intention of ever returning to the UK.

Thanks to a mistake in which the SLC tried to take money before it was legally due, I no longer hae the direct debit thingy set up. If you don't trust them, you could cancel that before you go, although it is technically in breach of contract to do so if they haven't abused the direct debit.
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Mark-O



Joined: 25 Jun 2003
Posts: 464
Location: 6000 miles from where I should be

PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2003 11:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The threshold varies depending on which particular year you took out your student loan. For example, I started mine in 1998 and the loan re-payment threshold for me is a lot lower than the aforementioned 1752GBP. Earlier years set a much more generous threshold (probably what the 1752GBP is referring to), but I think the government soon wised up to many students not earning that amount of money for a long time in most instances, so they lowered the threshold to start reaping their money back quicker. Buggers.
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dyak



Joined: 25 Jun 2003
Posts: 630

PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2003 6:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

They did indeed... I have a few from each 'era'... so what's the answer then?
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minnie



Joined: 22 Jun 2003
Posts: 17
Location: U.K

PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2003 8:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Sez

I contacted the SLC last week to explain that I was going abroad and, although I'm not due to defer for a few month, I wanted to know what I needed to do. As I dont need to start paying it back until I'm earning 1752 pounds a month (which I definitely wont be where im going) they said it will just be defered for another yr. You have to sent 3 months wage slips or a letter from the school (or wherever) to say how much you earn and they work out how much that is in pounds and if its less then the amount you need to be earning then you dont have to start paying it off. If you've already started paying it off then you're best phoning them and asking because it might be different.

Infact you might as well just phone and explain your situation to them yourself because they said it would be a good idea for me to get someone else to sort things out for me in UK while I'm away (and you need to put it in writing to them)

sorry if this wasn't much help!
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