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Spend & Save

The student debt firm whose credit is running out fast

The People’s Champion

Yet again I return to the subject of Erudio Student Loans, the firm that last year bought from the Government the outstanding debt of people who graduated in the 1990s and have yet to repay their loans.

In almost all cases, the loans remain unpaid for a reason: the former students have deferred them because they haven’t reached the qualifying earnings level. But the company – which is owned by the debt collector Arrow Global – appears to be grabbing money out of people’s accounts irrespective of those decisions to defer payment.

Last week Arrow’s boss, Zachary Lewy, stepped in to apologise to an Independent reader who had two lots of cash taken from her account. He admitted that the firm had “mishandled” her case.

However, it seems not to have learnt any lessons.

I’ve been contacted by many more people who have had money wrongly taken from their accounts by Erudio. One reader – a “full-time mum of two small children” – said the unexpected withdrawal almost pushed her “over my overdraft limit”.

After I intervened, Erudio sorted things out, saying: “The error has been resolved and the customer is now showing on the system as deferred. Erudio has spoken to the customer to apologise.”

The company added: “We are ensuring that the very small number of cases where there has been an issue following migration of the loan are resolved as quickly as possible.”

Yet by the end of the week I had been contacted by several more fed-up former students. Is it time to investigate why Erudio is dealing so badly with these outstanding debts?