The Student Loans Company (SLC) has apologised after sending a statement of debt to an undergraduate who died ten years ago.
Tania Scott, who was aged 20, died in a taxi crash in Brazil in 2005 alongside her father. She was studying Spanish and Portuguese at Leeds University at the time of her death.
The letter, which was opened by Tania’s mother Patricia Leon Jones last week, stated that the original debt of £7500 had risen to £11,973 following annual interest accruals.
A spokesperson for the SLC has explained that the letter was a result of ‘human error’. However, despite being notified of Tania’s death by the local authority in 2005, the SLC did not receive a death certificate to strike off her debt. When the company failed to issue a request for the certificate, Tania’s registered status on the company’s database was not updated to deceased.
However Tania’s mother has explained that the letter was “extremely upsetting”, adding: “It is really disturbing if you have dealt with somebody’s death in tragic circumstances – and come to terms with your grief – and you are suddenly faced with them being ‘resurrected’ with this debt around their neck.”
The SLC has confirmed that Tania’s account will be updated when they receive a death certificate.
Image courtesy of Times Higher Education