Credit Control and Debt Management
NB. This policy is available on the University of Cumbria website and it
should be noted that any printed copies are uncontrolled and cannot be
guaranteed to constitute the current version of the policy.
Policy title Credit Control and Debt Management Policy
Policy owner Financial Ledgers Department – Finance
Policy lead contact Catherine Raine
Approving body UMT (University Management Team)
Date of approval 05 December 2008
Date of implementation 01 January 2009
Version no. 1
Related Guidelines, Financial Regulations
Procedures, Codes of
Review interval Annually
Credit Control and Debt Management Policy
• Internal Purpose of Policy
• Standard Terms & Conditions – All Students
• Paying your Fees – Home/EU Students
• Paying your Fees – Overseas Students
• Home/EU Students – Registering After September
• Part Time Students
• Payment by Sponsor
• Returning Students with outstanding debt
• Early withdrawal from a programme of study
• Payment of Accommodation Fees
• Payment of Library fines and charges
• Payment of Other Invoices
• Overdue Student Debt Collection Procedure – Sanctions against Students
• Advisory Services & Funding Advice
• Commercial Debtors
• Overdue Commercial Debt Collection Procedure
• Debt Write Off Authority Limits
Contained within this document are the terms and conditions under which debt owed to the University
of Cumbria is controlled.
The policy contains details on;
• When, where and how to pay
• Payment plans available
• The sanctions that the University has available to effect payment
• The help available to students should they have problems
• Terms and conditions applicable to sponsors and other commercial debtors.
3. Internal Purpose of Policy
The aim of the Credit Control and Debt Management Policy of the University of Cumbria is to ensure
that the debt profile of the University is managed effectively, that debt owed to the University is
converted into cash in a timely manner, that debt converted to cash is maximised and any potential
bad debt is minimised. The University has many sources of income, which are collected by different
methods. This policy specifically covers the collection of tuition fees, sponsorship income,
accommodation and commercial debt.
It is vital that all decision makers in the University are aware of the importance of cash management
and fully co-operate with the finance staff who manage the administration process. The finance office
in return will provide assistance and advice to the University on credit control and debt management
4. Standard Terms and Conditions – Tuition Fees
Financial Requirement for All Students
All students on a programme of study at the University of Cumbria will be required to pay tuition fees
and all other charges in respect of each academic year of the period of study. Fees are due for each
academic year or period of study for the whole programme/course. Fees are normally collected
through the academic year. Progression through a programme of study may be affected if this
obligation is not fulfilled. It is the responsibility of the student to ensure that the necessary funds are
Undergraduate full time UK/EU students can apply to SLC (Student Loan Company)/SAAS (Student
Awards Agency for Scotland) for financial assistance.
If the student intends to apply to an organisation i.e. SLC/SAAS, or sponsorship for assistance in
paying their fees, he/she must do so in good time. The University will expect to see a document from
such an organisation or sponsor, confirming the level of financial assistance it will give at
registration/commencement of programme of study.
Should the University have not received evidence that funding is in place by December
students will be liable for the outstanding fees.
5. Paying your Fees – Home/EU Students
The following options are available to all home and EU students who are responsible for the payment
of their fees.
NOTE: acceptance of one of these payment methods is a condition of registering at the
1. Full payment of fees sent to the University in advance of the academic period of study.
The University offers the facility to allow students to pay tuition fees in advance prior to registration.
If the student chooses to pay their share of the fee in full, they can do so in a single instalment.
Please refer to appendix five “Methods of Payment” for details on ways to pay.
2. Full payment of fees made during the academic period of study.
A student can take the option to pay over a period of time using a direct debit agreement, see
Appendix One for a Direct Debit form.
For further information on payment plans see Appendix Two.
NOTE: We reserve the right to charge an administration fee if your direct debit is rejected, see
Details of your outstanding University debts can be obtained from student finance.
Please refer to the Appendix Five “Methods of Payment” for details on alternative ways to pay.
6. Paying your Fees – Overseas Students
NOTE: acceptance of this payment method is a condition of registering at the University.
1. Full payment of fees sent to the University in advance of the start date of the academic
The student must pay their fee in full; they can do so in a single instalment. Please refer to Appendix
Five “Methods of Payment” for details on how to make payment.
7. Home and EU Students - Registering after September
Students will still be allowed to pay by instalments. Please contact the student finance department for
Please refer to the Appendix Five “Methods of Payment” for details on how to make payment.
8. Part time Students
Students entering part-time courses of study must ensure that the necessary funds or sponsorship are
in place to pay the tuition fees. The full amount may be paid in advance, at the time of registration or
Part-time students can pay by direct debit (see Appendix One) through the duration of the course.
Please contact student finance for more details.
9. Payment By Sponsor
If the student has arranged for the fee to be paid in whole or in part by a sponsor, it is important that
the student provides proof of the sponsorship to the student finance, so that the sponsor can be
billed. In the event of a sponsor defaulting on payment, it is the students responsibility to
pay the fees. The student will receive an invoice for all outstanding fees.
10. Returning Students with Outstanding Debt
Students returning to the University must have paid all outstanding debts (including library debts)
before they can reregister.
Any student returning to their next year of study must not have debts outstanding from any previous
academic years. Before the new academic year commences students will receive written notification
from the University that they will be unable to re register. Once the debt is cleared the Finance office
will notify the relevant departments so full registration can be confirmed.
The University debt panel will meet three times throughout the academic year to discuss any on going
cases or issues which may prevent students from re registering. The debt panel will be made up of a
member of staff from the following services:
• Student Finance
• Student Records
• Student Development and Advisory Service
• Hospitality and Catering Representative for all related debts
• Relevant member of the academic staff/ programme leader
11. Early withdrawal from a programme of study
Before a student makes the decision to withdraw or intercalate from a course they must
seek guidance and advice from the Student Development and Advisory Service. Here they
will be able to discuss the full financial implications for the student and help to decide
which option is best for them.
The Money Doctors Team can be contacted by using the following link
Full time students:
1) Full time students who withdraw during the first three weeks of the first semester will have
any fees paid to the University refunded in full.
2) Students who transfer to a different institution in the first three weeks will have fees
transferred to their new institution, to the extent that they have paid fees to University of
3) Students, who withdraw after the first three weeks but before the end of the first semester,
will be liable to pay 50% of the annual fee.
4) Students who withdraw after the end of the first semester will be liable to pay the full annual
5) Students who qualify for a bursary or “Cumbria Grant” will have their bursary entitlement
stopped on withdrawal. The amount of bursary payable to, or repayable by the student will
be calculated on a case-by-case basis using the following rules:-
A student who withdraws before the end of the first term will not be entitled to any
bursary. Any amount paid to the student under a University bursary scheme will be
repayable in full to the University.
A student who withdraws after the end of the first term but before the end of the
second term, will be entitled to 25% of the total annual bursary assessed as payable to
them. Any amount of bursary paid to the student in excess of the calculated amount,
will be repayable in full to the University.
A student who withdraws after the end of the second term but before the end of the
third term, will be due 75% of the total annual bursary assessed as payable to them.
Any amount of bursary paid to the student in excess of the calculated amount, will be
repayable in full to the University.
6) Should the withdrawal be as a result of the students ill health, death of a husband, wife,
partner, health and safety risk or dependant, the student will have the right to have their case
considered by a panel, to be convened and chaired by the Head of Student Development and
Advisory Services. The panel will be selected by the Head of SDAS, will normally be drawn
from the following: the Financial Ledger Coordinator, one member from Student
Administration, one member from Admissions, a member from Hospitality & Campus Services
and PAT, Cohort or Programme Leader. The head of SDAS will chair and conclude the
7) Should a student intercalate, the rules will be applied as if the student had withdrawn, and
payment must be received in the year they intercalate in line with the rules above. However,
the total payments received from the student will be credited against their fee account in the
year the student returns. For the avoidance of doubt, the student will pay the prevailing fee
for their course for the year in which they return. E.g.
Year 200X/200Y Student fee: £3,070
Opts to intercalate in January 200X, fee due: £3,070
Amount paid by student in academic year 200X/Y: £3,070
Student returns from intercalation in 200Y/Z when fee is: £3,145
Already paid by Student : £3,070
Balance due from student in 200Y/Z: £ 75
If a student is in receipt of the Cumbria grant or bursary their payments will be stopped. Once
the student has returned to study in the next academic year they will receive the remaining
payments that would have been given in the previous year.
Part time students
In the case of part time students, the annual fee will be based on:-
The “normal annual fee” will be based on an average course length as calculated by the
University. E.g., if a part time course consists of six modules which the University states
should take two years to complete, the “standard course length” will be deemed to be
two years. Irrespective of the length of time a student takes to complete the six
modules, the “standard course length” will always be two years.
In the above example, if each module has an associated fee of £600, the “normal
annual fee” will be; £600 x 6 modules / 2years = £1,800 per year.
Once the “normal annual fee” has been calculated, in the case of part-time students
who withdraw, it will be used as the annual fee in rules 1 to 5 above.
12. Payment of accommodation fees
Students staying at the Universities accommodation will receive a contract for the years rent. The
student may either pay this immediately or they MUST setup a payment plan. See appendix four for
NOTE: We reserve the right to charge an administration fee if your cheque or direct debit is rejected,
see appendix three.
Details of your outstanding University debt can be obtained from student finance.
Please refer to Appendix Five “Methods of Payment” for details on how to make other payments.
Full details on accommodation terms and conditions are available from the Accommodation Office or
by accessing ‘Contract and Regulations’ under the ‘Accommodation’ section of the website.
13. Payment of Library fines and charges
The Learning and Information Services (LIS) Rules and Regulations, Borrowing Regulations and Fines
Policy set out the borrowing entitlements and associated level of fines and charges payable including
the restrictions that apply, when fines fall due and/or items are not returned.
Failure to return the items and/or pay the outstanding fines or charges will result in LIS forwarding
invoices to the Finance department for further action under this policy.
14. Payment of other invoices
In the event of the student owing the University any other monies these will be invoiced and must be
paid within 28 days.
Please refer to the Appendix Five “Methods of Payment” for details on how to make payment.
15. Overdue Student Debt Collection Procedure – Sanctions against Students
Whilst the procedure to collect monies outstanding is specific to each case the following steps will be
1. Written reminder from the University
2. Second reminder from the University, where by the following will take place
Application of sanctions which will include
1. Removal of IT facilities i.e. network, email and Blackboard access
2. Access to Library facilities denied
3. Denied attendance to the graduation ceremony
4. Withhold of the students award
3. Final demand from the University advising that the debt will be passed to the debt collection
4. Referral to a Debt Collection Agency - debts will be recovered via the appropriate legal
5. Once the debt has been paid or a satisfactory part payment plan agreed IT entitlements
withheld in 2.1 above, will be reinstated within 24 hours of a working day.
Note: We reserve the right to charge an administration fee for returned cheques or direct debits, see
16. Advisory Services & Funding Advice
The University has a dedicated Advisory Service (SDAS) and they can help with a wide range of issues
that students may be facing.
The University also has a Student Funding Team specifically to offer advice if a student is struggling
These can be contacted by using the following link
17. Commercial Debtors
The Universities payment terms are stated on all university invoices.
18. Overdue Commercial Debt Collection Procedure
Sending reminders to debtors is the sole responsibility of the Credit Control Section within Finance. In
most cases, this will consist of a prescribed process dictated by time and responses from the debtor.
Whilst the procedure is specific to each case the following steps will be taken to recover debt:
1. First reminder from the University - sent once the invoice terms have been exceeded
2. Second reminder from the University – sent 14 days after the invoice terms have been
3. Final reminder from the University – sent 30 days after the invoice terms have been exceeded
4. Referral to a Debt Collection Agency – sent 60 days after the invoice terms have been
Invoices will be treated as individual transactions when reminders are issued. They will only be
withheld from the debt collection process by finance staff. Finance staff will liaise with departments
concerned i.e. hospitality and catering.
Queries on commercial debt should be made to the Credit Control Section.
19. Debt Write Off Authority Limits
The Limits for the write off of any University Of Cumbria debt are as follows:
Invoices up to £500 Student Finance Team Leader
Invoices up to £5,000 Financial Ledger Coordinator
Invoices up to £10,000 Head of Finance
Invoices above £10,000 Director of Finance
A debt write off request (appendix six) must be completed and appropriately authorised.
Finance will liaise with the school or department prior to the write off being undertaken.
Appendix One – Direct Debit Form
INSTRUCTION TO YOUR BANK OR BUILDING SOCIETY TO PAY BY
Please fill in the whole form, and send it to:
Finance Office (Sales Ledger). University of Cumbria, Bowerham Road, Lancaster LA1 3JD. Tel 01524 384309
Name(s) of Account Holder(s)
7 6 2 8 6 1
Address of Account Holder(s).
Bank/Building Society Account Number University of Cumbria Student Number and Campus
Branch Sort Code Instruction to your Bank or Building Society
Please pay the University of Cumbria Direct Debits from the
account detailed in this instruction subject to the safeguaurds
assured by the Direct Debit Guarantee. I understand that this
instruction will remain with the University of Cumbria and
if so, detail s will be passed electronically to my
Name and full address of your Bank/Building Society
To the Manager Bank or Building Society Signature(s)
Banks and Building Societies may not accept Direct Debit instructions for some type of accounts
Please tick to indicate what you are paying for:
Tuition Fees Accommodation
Appendix Two – Tuition Payment Plan
Payment Plan Open to Full Time Undergraduate Students (UK & EU)
• Up to six equal instalments. The number of instalments depends on when the payment plan is
setup. The table below shows the number of instalments available.
Month Plan Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr May
Instalments 6 5 4 3 2 Not
All payments will be taken from the first working day of the month.
Payment Plan Open to Postgraduate Students (UK & EU)
• Up to eight equal instalments. The number of instalments depends on when the payment plan
is setup. The table below shows the number of instalments available.
Month Plan Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr May June
Instalments 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 Not
All payments will be taken on the first Friday of the month with the exception of January which will be
the second Friday of the month.
Payment Plan Open to Part-Time Students (UK & EU)
Part-time students can pay by direct debit through the duration of the course. Please contact student
finance for more details.
Appendix Three – Administration Fee Charge
The University of Cumbria currently impose a £10 administration fee for all rejected cheques and
Appendix Four - Accommodation Payment Plan
Payment Plan Open to Postgraduate Students
• The cost will be spread over eight equal Direct Debit instalments, starting from November.
• All payments will be taken on the first Friday of the month with the exception of January
which will be the second Friday of the month.
Payment Plan Open to All Other Students
• The cost will be spread over eight equal Direct Debit instalments starting from October.
• All payments will be taken from the first working day of the month.
NOTE: Any prepayments will be deducted from your final direct debit instalment.
Appendix Five – Method of Payments
The following methods of payment are available as follows:
• Credit or Debit card – at your student finance office or by calling student finance on the
telephone numbers below:
• Bank Transfer – contact student finance for details
• Cheque – by sending the amount due via a cheque drawn on a UK bank account or a sterling
bank draft and made payable to the ‘UNIVERSITY OF CUMBRIA’. Please ensure the students
full name, student number (if known) and course/ programme of study is written on the back
of the cheque. The University will issue a receipt for monies paid if requested.
• Cash – in person at any finance office
Student/Customer Debt Write Off Request Form
Students/Customers UoC Number
Total debt (to be written off)
Reason For Request: (Please attach any supporting documentation)
Finance Only - Reason for approval/rejection