(BBC News) Loans firm tightens debt recovery

 The firm responsible for managing the student finance system is tightening its procedures for recovering debt as it writes off nearly £29m.

The Student Loans Company (SLC) has adopted new ways of tracking debtors’ work and income status and chasing European students returning home. The move comes as the public debt from student loans reached nearly £26bn.

 This is nearly double the debt it had at the end of 2005, six months before variable tuition fees were brought in.

 The introduction of the student finance package in 2006, under which students borrow indirectly from the government through the SLC to cover their tuition fees and maintenance costs, meant public debt increased significantly.

 Students are now expected to graduate with total debts of about £23,000, a recent survey suggests.



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