ASK TONY: I paid my £20,000 student loan off but my payments didn't stop and now I'm £492 out of pocket

In October last year I repaid £20,000 of my student loan. In January I paid off the rest — around £4,000.
The Student Loans Company (SLC) confirmed the debt was paid and gave me a £24 refund. But a further £492 was taken from my salary until April.
My employer, a local borough council, says it had stopped the deductions by May. It told me to contact SLC, which said that as I voluntarily repaid the loan I'm now not due a refund.
N. W., London.
Refund woe: A reader ended up overpaying his student loan by almost £500 because money continued to be taken from his account after he had paid it off completely
Refund woe: A reader ended up overpaying his student loan by almost £500 because money continued to be taken from his account after he had paid it off completely
The problem here was with your employer's payroll operation.
When you repaid your loan in full, SLC sent a stop notice to your employer to advise that further repayment deductions should cease.Yet, SLC received further deductions taken by your employer in February and March. It has refunded these to you directly. A further deduction was taken in April, but no more have or will be taken.
The issue with your employer also meant that SLC was not aware of the April payment, and would not normally have been able to refund it until this issue was resolved.
However, SLC refunded the money after I made contact, and it should be with you by now.
SLC explains that when a loan is repaid in full, it advises HM Revenue and Customs, which tells the employer to stop taking repayments from the salary.
All repayments taken by the employer are then reported to HMRC, and this information is made available to SLC.
If any further deductions are made these will be refunded.

You have YOUR say 

Every week Money Mail receives hundreds of your letters and emails about our stories. Here are some about property investors rushing to cash in on the staycation boom:
It all sounds so simple, but holiday rents can be a financial disaster. Income is one thing, but the cost of maintaining them is another. Capital growth is not a guarantee either.
N. L., by email.
It shouldn't be so easy for second-home owners. Something needs to be done to make sure local residents don't get squeezed out of the property market. Tax cuts on second properties shouldn't be a priority.
J. G., Newcastle.
Our house is a classic 1800s stone cottage in West Wales. The one-bed cottage next door is rented out at £1,000 a week and is always fully booked. We could rent ours out for £1,600, but it is our home so we choose not to.
D. V., West Wales.
I'm A first-time buyer looking for a property I can afford on a single person's salary. I have limited options, but often hear of Londoners buying cheap houses in rural villages near my hometown. It doesn't seem fair.
C. G., Newcastle.
I'm hoping the staycation boom will be good news for us, as we bought a holiday let in Cornwall last year. It sounds like we've made a winning investment.
Y. S., Arizona, U.S.
Not all second-home owners have more money than sense. I have worked hard all my life and saved enough to buy a little place in Cornwall. I am not going to feel guilty for striving for a better life for my family.
P. B., by email.
Popular seaside towns should ring-fence a certain number of homes that only locals can buy, as they do in the Channel Islands. Local firms can't survive when people are only there for a few months of the year.
H. T., by email.
I took a £13 per month SIM-only deal with Vodafone two years ago. This recently increased to £19 per month.
I received a bank statement this week, and to my horror £197.79 was taken in April.
I have no idea how this was calculated and there was no breakdown of any charges.
Customer services couldn't tell me how the firm arrived at this figure. However, someone did arrange for me to receive a different package costing £9.98 per month.
C. A., Shrewton, Wilts.
When you sign up to a mobile phone contract, you are usually given the option of receiving bills by email or text, via an online account, or in the post (for a fee). Always check which method you are signed up to, and look at your bill monthly.
In your case you had gone beyond your monthly call limit so were being charged 55p per minute for phone calls — which is why you received such a high bill.
Mobile phone companies can put a credit limit on your account to stop overspend and Vodafone has now done this for you.
It has also added £178.79 to your account as a gesture of goodwill — that's your bill minus the £19 monthly fee. Your account will remain in credit until this is used up.
Your new tariff includes unlimited minutes and texts. It really is worth checking mobile phone contracts and negotiating, because many phone companies now offer this for a reasonable monthly fee.
I, for instance, pay Three £10 a month for unlimited minutes and texts with 12 GB of data on a SIM-only contract.
My neighbour's house is slightly higher than ours. They built up their garden by placing tons of earth and a patio against our garage (which is attached to our house) well above the damp proof course.
It was only when I couldn't open my garage door some years later that I realised that my property had been damaged.
A builder said that it looked as though the neighbour's concrete patio had initially been laid up to the brick wall of our garage, which meant that it would expand in the summer months and put further pressure on the garage wall.

Straight to the point 

I bought a HP laptop for my wife from John Lewis, but it didn't come with a backlit keyboard and she has poor vision. John Lewis is refusing to accept a return because the laptop now has personal data on it.
S. S., via email.
John Lewis confirms that it cannot provide an exchange or refund for products with personal data. It offered a goodwill gesture of £70, which you have accepted.
When I switched away from Spark Energy in March I was £638 in credit. I am still waiting for a refund.
M. G., Havant, Hants.
Spark Energy apologises for the delay. It has now calculated that you are owed £532 after a £60 exit fee - but it has waived this charge and offered you an additional £60 payment as a gesture of goodwill.
My holiday to the Dominican Republic was cancelled as a result of the pandemic. Can I now get a refund for my travel insurance policy, which cost £1,517?
I. S., Manchester.
You purchased your policy through the comparison site 
You originally asked for your cover to be extended so you could use it in the future. It could not do this but has now offered you a full refund.
A Halfords branch recently asked me to provide an email address so it could send a receipt. 
I don't own a computer, so asked for a paper receipt, but was refused. I am self-employed so am unable to claim these items on my accounts.
M. B., Maidenhead, Berks.
Halfords says it's prioritising e-receipts to reduce the risk of transmitting Covid-19, but adds that you should not have been refused a paper receipt. 
It can provide you with a record of your purchase if you wish.
My insurance company, More Than, has refused to cover the damage. An insurance assessor described it as accidental damage caused by the added weight against the garage.
I have full accidental damage cover on my buildings insurance. However, More Than says the problem is due to a natural breakdown of materials and not the result of an insured cause.
It says that as I have legal expenses insurance, I must sue my neighbour. I am concerned about taking on the legal costs.
I am 79, not in good health and the primary carer of my husband who has terminal cancer.
I have been greatly distressed by the treatment I have received from More Than, and I am really not keen on the course of action it has suggested.
M. D., Wigan, Gr. Manchester.
when you are sitting in an insurance office it is easy to talk about suing a neighbour, but most of us would be very reluctant to do this.
Perhaps it is better to think of it instead as (hopefully) suing your neighbour's insurer.
The good news is that if you take this course of action, you would not incur any expenses because of the legal expenses insurance.
If there were any likelihood of expenses, then you would be warned in advance, and would have the option of not pursuing the action further.
A More Than spokesman admits it did not correctly explain the reason why the claim was declined. Also, when you disputed this decision, it did not address your complaint correctly.
More Than has apologised, and is arranging for a detailed cause of damage report to be carried out. This will help confirm if it can be covered by your insurance.
More Than will be offering you compensation once it has made a full review of the claim.
A spokesman apologises for the stress and inconvenience caused, adding: 'We always strive to handle claims swiftly and sensitively, but on this occasion our service fell short.'
  • We love hearing from our loyal readers, so ask that during this challenging time you write to us by email where possible, as we will not pick up letters sent to our postal address as regularly as usual. You can write to: asktony@ or, if you prefer, Ask Tony, Money Mail, Northcliffe House, 2 D erry Street, London W8 5TT — please include your daytime phone number, postal address and a separate note addressed to the offending organisation giving them permission to talk to Tony Hazell. We regret we cannot reply to individual letters. Please do not send original documents as we cannot take responsibility for them. No legal responsibility can be accepted by the Daily Mail for answers given

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