21 August 2015

Grads Overpay Student Loans, Instant Train Delay Refunds, New Co-Op Deal…

Graduates overpaid student loans

graduates-overpaidTens of thousands of graduates have overpaid their student loans to the tune of £45.4m.

Graduates who may be affected would have graduated between 1998 and 2011. The average overpayment is £580, which is quite a decent amount of money. Overpayments happen as there’s a delay between an employer telling the taxman how much has been deducted for loan payments and the taxman telling the Student Loans Company, who (as you most likely know) are in charge of the loans for students. The SLC will let you know if you’ve overpaid.

Our take: Oh, student loans. They will continue to be the bain of our lives – first when you’re in uni, at their mercy for your thrice-yearly loan instalment and afterwards when you have to pay it all back. They’ll never go away! Whilst getting a lump sum of money is awesome it’s like a tax rebate – yay money, but it’s yours anyway. In an ideal world, the tax man and the SLC wouldn’t take more money than you owe but that seems an impossible concept…

“Rank your Bank!”

student-bank-accounts-headA new Save the Student short survey has opened, asking students what they make of their bank. With more and more students struggling to make ends meet, your views and responses help us keep the pressure on organisations who can improve student finance.

While the survey is 100% anonymous, all entrants can opt-in for the chance to win 1 of 5 £20 Nando’s vouchers! Click here to take part (only takes a minute).

Our take: Mmmm… chicken. Oh, see what we think are the best student bank accounts this year.

Most graduates overqualified for their jobs

Job-CompetitionA report by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) has found that 58.8% of graduates are currently in jobs that don’t require a degree.

CIPD believe that this is because employers are jumping on the degree bandwagon, requesting degrees when they are not necessarily needed for the job. They have found that a degree is replacing an apprenticeship in some areas such as manufacturing and construction, sectors which traditionally offer apprenticeships to get a job.

Our take: Degrees aren’t for everyone, especially in areas like construction which is very hands-on. Writing essays isn’t a replacement for everything. Apprenticeships are still a great way to get a good job, so we plead to employers – make degrees only necessary for jobs that need one! Graduate schemes, as the name suggests, is specifically for those with degrees. Looking for your career after uni? There are loads here for all types of sectors.

Delayed train compensation soon to be instant refunds

train-refundLate or cancelled trains are awful. Perhaps even soul destroying. Unlike late buses, however, you can get refunds for really late trains. Previously your refund was in rail vouchers, but recently train companies have had to give cash refunds because vouchers are really annoying.

Not enough? The Railways Minister Claire Perry has now drawn up plans to allow customers to get automatic refunds. This will be trialled next year by train company c2c. If successful, every train operator will soon have to follow suit.

Our take: A seriously late train can be torture especially when you have somewhere to be, or when it’s raining and there’s no cover. Did you know that customers are missing out on up to £100m a year by not complaining about late trains? It’s worth it to get compensation. If you struggle to complain, we have a guide here to help you get results.

Graduates to pay less interest on loans

Graduate Vacancies IncreaseStudent finance can be a complicated thing, especially when it comes to repaying your loan. You pay back not just your loan but interest on top of it (like a ‘real’ loan).

The interest you pay is calculated by the Retail Price Index (RPI), which is currently 0.9%. Students who graduated before 1998 will pay 0.9% interest on their loans, whereas those who graduated before 2012 will pay 0.9% plus 1% or the rate of inflation, whichever is lower.

Our take:Confused? Me too. Basically, all graduates will pay back less interest on their loans than last year. Want to know more about your loan repayments? This guide will tell you everything you need, whereas our Big Fat Guide to Student Finance has everything from tuition fees, maintenance loans and a great section on repayments.

New £5 meal deal from Co Op

coop-meal-3Is your freezer running low? Stock up on the Co Op’s new frozen meal deal. This time, it’s chicken, chips, sweetcorn, peas (because veg is healthy) and ice cream (to counteract the veg).

All for just £5! Bargain. Get it while you can, the deal finishes on 8th September.

Our take: Interested? Find the full details here. Make room in your freezer and get down to Co Op ASAP!

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