Student's fear over delayed loan

A SUFFOLK student has spoken of his concerns today after 'network problems' cast doubt on his return to university. Peter Nichols of Bristol Hill, Shotley Gate, said student loan processing delays at the Local Education Authority (LEA) in Suffolk mean he could be out of pocket until Christmas.

A SUFFOLK student has spoken of his concerns today after 'network problems' cast doubt on his return to university.

Peter Nichols of Bristol Hill, Shotley Gate, said student loan processing delays at the Local Education Authority (LEA) in Suffolk mean he could be out of pocket until Christmas.

The 20-year-old English language and linguistics student said: "I have been told it would be unlikely my loan will be available for at least a month.

"I will have no money, which means I may have to do a part time job. It depends how long it takes."

Mr Nichols, who is returning to his third year at York University, said his parents may have to help him financially until the loan comes through.

He said: "I do not know what people will do without any money. If I had not built up some money this summer I would be going back with nothing."

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Mr Nichols said he will have to pay rent, food bills and utility bills out of his savings before the loan comes through.

He said he was also concerned that the University of York registration process requires a Statement of Assessment, issued by the LEA once the loan has been processed.

He said: "I need this statement in order to register for the next academic year. I am worried I will not get registered. I do not know what will happen.

"If I do not get registered I will not get back to university this year."

However, he praised LEA staff and said they had been as helpful as possible.

He said: "This is a problem across the country., I am quite annoyed but it is not the LEA's fault. They have got too many to process and they got their training too late."

Diane Hoy, student support manager at Suffolk County Council, said: "Unfortunately there have been some problems with assessing student loans this year.

"It is an unfortunate combination of  the introduction of a new national system for student loan assessment and local network problems. 

"This has not affected everyone, and there are contingency plans in place to help those students where there are problems."

Mrs Hoy said the county's students had been sent letters explaining the situation.

She said: "They have been sent a letter explaining that an interim payment will be made while the assessment of their loan is completed.

"University and colleges have been asked to take a sympathetic view and not to ask for tuition fee payments until things are resolved in these cases.

"It is understandable that people may be worried, but they should be reassured that contingencies are in place." 

If anyone is worried about their student loan payment they should contact the Student Finance Direct helpline on 0845 6077577.

N What do you think? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

 

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