Frequently Asked Questions

Can I pay into the pension, ISA and Student Loan?

Yes, if you would like to pay towards all or some of the options available, you can do so. You will need to pay a minimum of 3% into the ISA and/or Student Loan.

Is the ‘Savings Choices’ Student Loan repayment in addition to my regular Student Loan repayment?

Yes, the ‘Savings Choices’ Student Loan repayment is voluntary, and is an additional payment over and above your compulsory SLC repayments. Please ensure you are able to fund both the compulsory and this voluntary Student Loan repayment. Your SAP loan and the SLC compulsory payments are separate and independent arrangements.

What is the SAP ‘Savings Choices’ Student Loan?

The SAP ‘Savings Choices’ Student Loan is an interest-free loan provided by SAP to help reduce your overall Student Loan, speeding up the repayment as well as reducing the amount of interest applied. Under HMRC rules the maximum loan to you from SAP, including season ticket and car loans, cannot exceed £10,000. Please ensure you remain within this limit.

Who is the ‘Savings Choices’ Student Loan available to?

If you have a Student Loan with the Student Loan Company (SLC) you will be eligible to select the 'Savings Choices' Student Loan option. However, If you have two years or less to repay the loan on your compulsory repayments please read the notes under Is it possible to over pay my total debt to the SLC?

How much does SAP pay if I choose a Savings Choices combination of ISA, Student Loan repayment and pension?

SAP will pay 9% into the pension. This happens whether:

  • you opt to redirect your pension contributions to the ISA and/or Student Loan, or
  • you choose to stay in the pension with a 5% contribution and also pay to one or both of the ISA and Student Loan. SAP makes no further contributions whichever of the above you select, except for any NI passback from your pension contributions.
How are the ‘Savings Choices’ Student Loan repayments to SAP calculated?

The percentage repayment you make will be based on your gross basic salary and taken from your net basic pay via the SAP payroll.

You can select to repay between 3% and 20% of your gross basic pay.

When you start this arrangement with SAP, you will have twelve fixed monthly deductions from your net pay to recover the lump sum payment made by SAP to the SLC.

For example if you had a basic gross salary of £35,000 and selected to repay 3% in February 2019, SAP will pay a lump sum loan amount to the SLC of £1050. They will then deduct £87.50 per month over 12 months (i.e. until and including January 2020 payroll – this benefit will then roll over for another 12 months, unless you make a change on the benefits site).

How to apply
What do I need to provide to select this?

You will need to provide your SLC customer reference number. If you are unsure what this is, please refer to the questions ‘I’ve lost my customer reference number, how do I find out what it is?’ and ‘How do I know what type of repayment loan I have?’ for guidance.

Can I still take this benefit if I’m below the earnings threshold for the repayment of my Student Loan?

Yes. You are still able to select this option even if you’re below the earnings threshold to start your compulsory SLC repayments. We strongly suggest you think carefully about whether you can afford these repayments to SAP as you will need to remember that if your earnings rise to the threshold level, additional compulsory deductions will be deducted automatically from your salary.

Does the amount I repay change if I work overtime or receive a bonus?

No. Your regular compulsory repayments to the SLC are based on your actual salary but this is not the case with the SAP ‘Savings Choices’ Loan. You’ll be repaying a fixed amount based on your gross basic salary as at the date you enter into the arrangement with SAP.

If I select this option, will I still have my regular SLC repayments deducted from my salary?

Yes. This ‘Savings Choice’ is a voluntary option where SAP will on your behalf make an additional one-off payment to the SLC, and collect your repayments over twelve months. Note: If you choose this Student Loan repayment, please ensure that you have enough money to fund both the compulsory and voluntary contributions.

Will the ‘Savings Choices’ Student Loan automatically renew?

If you select Student Loan Savings Choices, this will automatically roll over again in after 12 months unless you make alternative decisions. Please look out for the reminder emails.

If you are close to paying your loan off, you might want to look at the ‘Is it possible to overpay my total debt to the SLC?’ and ‘Can I get a refund for overpayments?’ FAQs.

Are there any tax implications or savings by entering into this arrangement with SAP?

As the repayment amounts will be coming out of your net pay, there are no Income Tax or National Insurance savings by selecting this option, but you will save interest on your Student Loan.

What happens if I get a mid-year salary change or promotion?

There will be no change in the ‘Savings Choices’ loan amount. SAP will not make any additional payment to the SLC in respect of any increase in your salary, or make additional changes to the amount of the repayment.

Loan types
Can I decide which Plan is paid off first?

Yes. You can select which Plan you would like your ‘Savings Choices’ loan paid to by completing the appropriate box on the Savings Choices form.

How do I know what types of repayment loan I have?

There are two types of repayment plans, Plan 1 and Plan 2.

Plan 1 requires you to have lived in Northern Ireland, Scotland, England or Wales and to have started the course before 1 September 2012.

Plan 2 requires you to have lived in England or Wales and to have started the course on or after 1 September 2012.

You will be able to find out what type of loan you have by looking at the SLC’s website,

Is it possible to have Plan 1 and Plan 2 loans?

Yes, if you studied a second, new course after 1 September 2012 you may have both Plan 1 and Plan 2 loans.

I’ve lost my customer reference number. How do I find out what it is?

You will be able to retrieve your customer reference number by going to the SLC’s repayment site at

What if I have both a Plan 1 and a Plan 2 loan?

If you’ve both a Plan 1 and a Plan 2 loan you won’t be able to change to direct debit repayments until one type of plan has been paid off in full. Once you’ve paid off one plan type you can then change to direct debit repayments in the last two years of the remaining loan.

What’s the difference between a Plan 1 and Plan 2 loan?

The two main differences between the two Plans are the level at which (compulsory) repayments commence and the interest rate that is applied to the loans.

Details of these differences and the interest rates applicable to both are on the SLC website: under 'Repaying your Student Loan'. We suggest you review this site at least once a year as the income thresholds for both plans and interest rates are subject to change.

Can I get a refund for overpayments?

Any voluntary repayments you make via the SAP Savings Choices’ are in addition to any scheduled compulsory repayments you already make through your wages. These voluntary repayments cannot be refunded.

You will only be eligible to receive a refund based on any compulsory overpayments made to the SLC via HMRC direct collection from pay. If you over pay using the SAP Student Loan repayment, this element will not be refunded. While the SLC tries to contact anyone who has made overpayments via the SLC compulsory payments collected from pay, if you believe this has occurred you’re strongly encouraged to contact them directly at

Is it possible to overpay my total debt to the SLC?

Yes, this is very possible. If you’re close to repaying your Student Loan it is important to bear in mind the following points. While there are monthly compulsory deductions from your salary in respect of any loans you have with the SLC, the SLC will not know how much you have repaid until Her Majesty Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has confirmed the amount you’ve repaid in any given tax year. This means that your outstanding balance is monitored on an annual basis, rather than monthly. As such, it is possible that overpayments do occur.

As a way of preventing this, when you’re close to two years from the end of your repayment term, the SLC will give you the option to make your repayments by a monthly direct debit instead of being deducted from your salary. You will need to contact the SLC to arrange this. It takes about three months for the direct debit to be instigated and compulsory payments will still be deducted through your salary during this period. It is therefore essential to make sure you retain a record of what has been taken over this period (keep your payslips & P60s) and confirm these amounts to the SLC.

The advantage of moving to a personal direct debit is that it will enable the SLC to accurately calculate exactly when you are due to repay your loan in full and to make sure repayments stop at the correct point; something that is usually not possible through the tax system.

If you’re within two years of your loan completing please think carefully about the suitability of the SAP loan repayment, as overpayments of voluntary contributions cannot be refunded.

What if the voluntary repayment goes over the total amount owed?

Voluntary payments that exceed the total amount owed to the SLC cannot be repaid. It is therefore crucial that you make sure that any voluntary payments you decide to make will not take you over the total amount you owe.

Can I make additional repayments outside of the SAP ‘Savings Choices’ Student Loan?

Yes. If you want to make additional repayments to the SLC outside of, or in addition to, any regular compulsory repayments and outside of the SAP ‘Savings Choices’ Student Loan, you can arrange to do this direct with the SLC. Have a look at their website,, for details on how to do this.

How can I see how much has been paid off and the remaining balance of my Student Loan?

To see how much has been paid from your Student Loan, you will need to log in to your Student Loan account. Please bear in mind it may take up to three weeks from the date you selected this option for the lump sum payment to be applied by SAP to your account or, if you make the selection during the annual benefit window in March (for an April payday deduction), SAP will pay it to the Student Loan Company in early May.

Further information
I work overseas; will this have an impact on taking out a SAP Student Loan?

Working overseas may affect the amount that HMRC requires SAP to deduct from your salary for compulsory student loan repayments. However, as long as you remain on a SAP UK contract of employment, you will still be able to select the SAP ‘Savings Choices’ Loan repayment.

What happens if I leave SAP before paying off the full loan?

If you have chosen the ‘Savings Choices’ Student Loan option and leave SAP before the 12 months loan is repaid, any outstanding balance will be deducted from your final pay. If your final pay does not cover the outstanding balance, you will be required to make a payment to SAP to cover any remaining amount owed.

Where can I find more information?

You can find more information by visiting Depending on where in the UK you studied, there are specific sites that will provide more specialised information and these are detailed as follows:

Website -
Telephone - 0300 100 0607 (open Mon-Fri 8:00am to 8:00pm, 9:00am to 4:00pm Sat-Sun).

Website -
Telephone - 0300 555 0505 (open 8.30am to 5.00pm (4.30pm on Fridays), 8.00am to 6.00pm (4.30pm on Fridays) from early June to mid-October).

Website -
Telephone - 0300 200 4050
(open 8am to 8pm Mon-Fri and 9am to 1pm on Saturday).

Northern Ireland:
Website -
Telephone - 0300 100 0077

I’m currently paying an employee contribution of 3% and receiving a contribution from SAP of 6%, into my pension – can I select this?

Yes, you can. The contributions described above are under the Pensions Lite option. To switch to the Savings Choices Student Loan please complete the form.