Students: Loans

Business, Innovation and Skills written question – answered on 1st September 2014.

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Photo of Jim Dobbin Jim Dobbin Labour, Heywood and Middleton

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills with reference to the answer of 11 December 2013, Official Report, column 247W, on students: loans, how many complaints (a) he and (b) the Office of Fair Trading has received about changes to the conditions of student loans sold to Erudio Student Loans Limited for loan holders (i) nationally and (ii) in Greater Manchester; what steps he has taken to remind Erudio of its responsibility to uphold the original conditions of the loan; what guidance he has issued to purchasers of the student loan book on how student loans impact credit ratings; and if he will place in the Library a copy of that guidance.

Photo of Greg Clark Greg Clark Minister of State (Universities and Science), Minister of State (Cabinet Office)

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills had received complaints about Erudio Student Loans Limited from 38 loan holders (or their elected representatives) as at 31 July 2014:

12 of these did not specify their location. of the remaining 26, 15 were from (or about) loan holders in England, of which one was in Greater Manchester.

The Office of Fair Trading was closed on 1 April 2014 and its responsibilities in relation to consumer credit passed to the Financial Conduct Authority. The Financial Conduct Authority does not investigate individual complaints. The Financial Ombudsman Service is a free, independent service for settling disputes between financial services firms and their customers, which can deal with complaints about a wide range of financial matters.

Erudio has been notified of five complaints received by the Financial Ombudsman Service as at 31 July 2014. None of these was from loan holders in Greater Manchester.

Mortgage style student loans are regulated loans under the Consumer Credit Act 1974 (as amended). Terms and conditions are specified in the Education (Student Loans) Regulations 1998 and in borrowers’ loan credit agreements. Erudio Student Loans Limited is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority for accounts formed under the Consumer Credit Act 1974 (as amended) and must act in compliance with the terms and conditions of the loans, relevant regulatory requirements, industry guidance and all applicable laws.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has not issued guidance to Erudio Student Loans Limited in relation to how mortgage style student loans impact on borrowers’ credit scores, as the Department has no involvement in the credit scoring process.

The leaflet ‘Credit explained’ published by the Information Commissioner’s Office explains this in more detail and is available at:

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