Debt firm wrongly snatched cash from graduates

Erudio Student Loans blames IT issue for mistake after money disappears from accounts, reports Simon Read
  • @simonnread

The debt firm which bought 1990s student loans from the Government has admitted that it wrongly snatched cash from 500 graduates.

It blamed the mistake on an "IT synchronisation issue" but claimed that the problems have now been "resolved" and all customers affected have had their cash refunded.

"We apologise unreservedly for any inconvenience caused," an Erudio Student Loans spokesperson told The Independent.

The row has rumbled on for the last few weeks as surprised former students saw cash disappear from bank accounts even though loans have been deferred because their wages have never reached the annual £28,775 earnings threshold.

But the firm has also distressed people with demands for detailed information and by passing on data to credit-reference agencies.

We put your concerns to the company this week. Here's how it responded:

Why does Erudio need all this information?

"The information is fundamental to operating an effective deferment assessment, providing suitable forbearance for customers in financial difficulty, avoiding fraud or mistaken identity, and complying with other regulatory requirements. It will be used to help customers progress through the deferment process and to ensure customers who can't defer but deserve reduced payment obligations are granted suitable forbearance."

Why do you give info to credit-reference agencies?

"To validate information to help move deferment applications forward. Additionally, Erudio will post positive credit-reference data."

What info do you supply?

"Details on the current status of the loan. This not a change to the terms and conditions of the loan and has always been the case."

My loan is deferred, so why must I have a direct debit?

"As part of the original terms and conditions of customers' loan agreement, they must always have an active Direct Debit set up to cover monthly payments when they are lawfully due."

How will you ensure that money isn't taken from my account incorrectly again?

"The error was a localised mistake connected to migration and has been corrected. Erudio would encourage any customers who have any concerns to get in touch with the customer service team on 0845 217 1134."