Is your monthly instalment more than you can afford? Are you unable to make repayments for a while, or only able to pay less than usual? In such situations, it is important to avoid falling into arrears. You can:

  • ask us to reduce your monthly instalments in line with your income.
  • request a payment free period (not possible for a lifelong learning credit).
  • have your repayments stopped temporarily because you are in education.

Reduced monthly instalments

In many cases, DUO automatically takes your income into account. This means that your monthly instalments can fall. But sometimes you have to request a reduction yourself. This depends upon what repayment rules apply to you.

Changing the reference year

In calculating your monthly instalments, we look at your income from 2 years ago. We call this the reference year. If your income has fallen since then, you can ask us to look at a more recent year. We call this reference year rescheduling.

Payment free period

You can temporarily stop paying off your student loan. It does not matter what your reason is. This is called a payment free period. You cannot use a payment free period for a lifelong learning credit.

You are still in education

If you are on a course for which you receive student finance, we stop your repayments automatically. If you no longer receive student finance, you must meet a number of conditions.

You are detained

Even if you are detained, you need to pay back your student loan. Are you unable to do so? Request a reduction of your monthly instalments or a payment free period.