Student debt recovery

We have been helping universities, colleges, independent schools, and accommodation providers (PBSA) to collect unpaid tuition, accommodation, library, commercial, sponsor and research debts for twenty years. More recently, staff shortages and recruitment problems have seen the demand for help with commercial ledger debts and receivables support for income teams grow significantly. Separately, our student contact centre can support volume projects such as new student satisfaction surveys and extend your working hours by contacting students, for any reason, in the evenings.

Truly global
Last year, we collected from 136 countries, and of all the monies collected, we recovered 83% from the UK, saving clients the cost and delay of using an overseas agent in the local market.
Our success
In the past year, we collected c£20m of student debts, and today we have c46k open student debts worth >£174m that we are pursuing. .
Experienced
Dedicated student debt collection and customer service business operating 8 a.m. through 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Innovation
We continually invest in and develop new software and processes to give our clients and their customers the best possible service.

International collections

We have been collecting global student debt for 20 years. In that time, we have pursued circa 22,000 international students’ worth £66M collecting £17M [27%]. We recover the majority of the monies, 83%, through our efforts from the UK. Where our efforts are unsuccessful, we can refer to one of our networks of agents across the globe.

More recently, universities have engaged us to conduct telephone-based credit control calls in the name of the university to in-year, current international students, particularly from India and Nigeria, who paid their deposit but not their second instalment to help with in-house collections by ensuring students have been contacted in person and made aware of their obligations and consequences of continued non-payment.

In 2022 our student collection success reached record levels, reflecting our growing influence in the H&FE market. Below, you can see three league tables of the Top 10 countries that we collected from for our H&FE clients.

We work all Chinese student debt directly for up to 60 days through a rigorous bespoke workflow. The workflow is designed to drive student engagement through various channels including inbound calls, email, and self-serve via our dedicated student website, www.staunify.com, which incorporates our student support hub.

The student support hub is most beneficial for international students as it is available 24/7, allows them to manage their accounts online, make direct payments and set up Continuing Card Authority [CCA] on foreign bank accounts. Outbound calling begins after 3 days and is subject to the time zone.

Finally, the workflow ends with a Letter-Before-Agent, as required under GDPR, to notify students that we intend to share their data with a third party to perform a contract.

Where our efforts fail to collect or become exhausted, we may recommend referring to our local agent. Once you have agreed to our recommendation, we will refer the debt details, and the agent will commence their activity of written, email, telephone, and SMS chasing. Where their amicable efforts fail, they can recommend a personal doorstep visit, covering most areas of China, to contact and negotiate with the debtor directly; or issue a legal letter from their partner law firm. Both of these additional tactics have proven to be cost-effective on higher-value debts. Where this fails, they can recommend legal action, but this will depend on the jurisdiction of your contracts and generally for debts of over £15K.

Tracing individuals in China is illegal, although our agent, as stated above, can perform visits in most provinces, which is effective in establishing residency. In addition, they provide basic reporting, including passport and ID checks that can verify an individual. Essential to have is the Chinese Identification Number [CIN].

All Indian student debt is worked directly by STA for up to 60 days through a rigorous bespoke workflow. The workflow is designed to drive student engagement through various channels including inbound calls, email, and self-serve via our dedicated student website, www.staunify.com, which incorporates our student support hub.

The student support hub is most beneficial to international students as it is available 24/7; it allows them to manage their accounts online, make direct payments and set up Continuing Card Authority [CCA] on foreign bank accounts. Outbound calling begins after 3 days and is subject to the time zone, so for India, 5.5 hours ahead, our calling takes place between 8am and 2.30pm.

Finally, the workflow ends with a Letter-Before-Agent, as required under GDPR, to notify students that we intend to share their data with a third party to perform a contract.

Where our efforts fail to collect or become exhausted, we may recommend referring to our local agent. Once you have agreed to our recommendation, we will refer the debt details, and the agent will commence their activity of written, email, telephone, and SMS chasing. Their in-house legal team can issue legal notices where their amicable efforts fail. Where this fails and for higher value debts, they can recommend legal action, but this will depend on the jurisdiction under which your contracts apply.

The law in India prohibits any personal doorstep visits. Also, to confirm a student’s address, no publicly verifiable data is available on individuals in India apart from the Electoral Roll. However, this is a partial data set and has limited search capabilities.

The newly developed Unique Identification Number of India [AADHAAR], is supposed to be the information with the most relevant address, is verifiable through Authorised Government Agencies only. Though there is no mechanism to trace an Individual with their Name etc., our agent can verify a person’s identity through one of their ID cards, such as a Permanent Account Number [PAN] or their EPIC voter’s card, should the IDs be available. There is no provision to trace/verify a person with their Passport Number. They can perform social media searches.

We work all Nigerian student debt directly for up to 60 days through a rigorous bespoke workflow. We designed the workflow to drive student engagement through various channels, including inbound calls, email, and self-serve via our dedicated student website, www.staunify.com, which incorporates our student support hub.

The student support hub is most beneficial to international students as it is available 24/7 and allows them to manage their accounts online, make direct payments and set up Continuing Card Authority [CCA] on foreign bank accounts. Outbound calling begins after 3 days and is subject to the time zone, so for Nigeria, 1 hour ahead, our calling would occur between 8am and 4pm.

Finally, the workflow ends with a Letter-Before-Agent, as required under GDPR, to notify students that we intend to share their data with a third party to perform a contract.

Where our efforts fail to collect or become exhausted, we may recommend referring to our local agent. Once you have agreed to our recommendation, we will refer the debt details, and the agent will commence their activity of written, email, telephone, and SMS chasing.

There is no provision to trace in Nigeria, but the agent can instruct a private investigator.

“We introduced STA into our debt collection process in 2018 as we were confident that they could add value in collecting our outstanding debt that had proved difficult to obtain before. Others assured that they had a wealth of knowledge working with Universities and treating students and commercial customers with care.

Our engagement with STA has been wholly successful, with a collection rate of approximately 33%, and will improve as instalment plans pay in full. This success is impressive, considering they received some very old overseas debt that had proved almost impossible to attain elsewhere. Payment plans in place will increase the success rate as they pay in full. Also, we have received not a single complaint from our students, commercial customers, or internally.

STA has continued to work for us throughout the epidemic and lockdowns and has treated our students with extra empathy, care, and respect. STA provides a great service, and we are very engaged with their client base; and we would strongly recommend them.”

– University of Reading

LUPC Framework Supplier
LUPC Framework Supplier
In 2018, STA successfully retained its Framework Supplier status from the London Universities Purchasing Consortium, to provide debt collection services to its members, and members of other Consortia in the UK.
Collector Accreditation Initiative
Collector Accreditation Initiative
Our student collections team holds the Collector Accreditation Initiative from the Credit Services Association (CSA) resulting in STA getting the CSA Corporate Accreditation. The Collector Accreditation Initiative (CAI) assesses each collector’s understanding of the regulatory, legislative and compliance framework.
Cyber Essentials Plus
Cyber Essentials Plus
Cyber Essentials Plus is a Government-backed and industry-supported scheme that helps businesses protect themselves against the growing threat of cyber attacks and provides a clear statement of the basic controls organisations should have in place to protect themselves.

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