Former students being aggressively chased for debts could soon deluge the Financial Ombudsman Service with their complaints.
Student from the 1990s are fed up with the tactics of the firm which bought the outstanding debts from the Government last autumn. Erudio Student Loans paid just £120m for around £900m-worth of debt and last month contacted graduates with demands for proof that their loans do not yet need to be repaid.
Those concerned have repayments deferred because their wages have stayed below an earnings threshold.
Yet many have had money wrongly snatched from their accounts by Erudio, which is owned by debt collecting giant Arrow Global.
However, i has taken up the case of several and Erudio has apologised and repaid the money, or the fed-up former students have reclaimed it under the direct debit scheme after confirming money was taken in error.
For instance, reader Debbie got in touch after £84 was taken from her account. After i’s intervention, she reported: “I had the £84 credited to my account by Erudio yesterday.”
But despite the firm ’s promises, more are reporting bad experiences and plan to complain. If they don’t get satisfaction they can turn to the Financial Ombudsman Service. It gets 50 new debt collection complaints a month and upholds 40 per cent.
The ombudsman said: “If you feel you’ve not been treated fairly by a debt collector, or that they are not taking your circumstances into account, get in touch – we are here to get things sorted.” Details at financial-ombudsman.org.uk