Students continue to fund loans helpline
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Students and debt-ridden graduates have racked up over £1 million in revenue for the government’s Student Loans Company over the last five years. Information uncovered by the Scotsman newspaper shows the revenue raised by the non-profit-making company across the UK was at £325,000 in 2010/11, and was still as high as £80,000 this year. The SLC justifies its operation of several 0845 numbers for students and graduates to make inquiries about their loan or make repayments, with costs as high as 41p a minute from a mobile phone, by saying these call costs reduce the burden on public finances, and in a statement this week, rehashed its statement from November 2011. The SLC said: “At peak times, SLC has seven contact centre locations and the use of 0845 numbers provides us with the most effective means of routing calls across those locations. “Using non-geographic numbers allows calls to be routed to the next available adviser at any location, ensuring that calls are answered as quickly as possible. “SLC is a not-for-profit organisation and wholly in public ownership. Any revenue from telephone calls is used to offset our overall telephone charges.”
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