Just phoned the student loans company and the operator told me about an initiative that wipes up to £1500 off your student loan if you had a loan in 2010/11 or 2011/2012 academic year.
Basically if you pay your first payment over £50 they will deduct £1500 off you loan amount or lower if you pay a lesser amount.
The payment can be either voluntarily (which may be good if you haven't started repayment yet) or from your payslip.
I personally think it's best to pay £50 if you haven't started employment or still in uni to reduce interest but also if you're first contribution from your pay is say only £10 you're amount deducted from your loan is less.
If you took out a Maintenance Loan in academic year 2010/11 or 2011/12 from Student Finance Wales, the Welsh Government may provide you with a partial cancellation of up to £1,500. The reduction will be applied to the balance of your student loan by the SLC when you start repaying.
How do I benefit from partial cancellation of Maintenance Loan?
After you have made the first repayment of your student loan we will automatically cancel up to £1,500 of the Maintenance Loan that you took out in either academic year 2010/11 or 2011/12. This repayment can either be mandatory (through your employer) or voluntary (through the Student Loans Company – such as, by making an online payment).
However, in order to receive the full benefit of the partial cancellation, you should have received each instalment of the maintenance loan due for either academic year 2010/11 or 2011/12 before making a repayment
How do I make a payment?
Repayment can be by any of the following methods:
•credit or debit card;
•standing order; or
•through the tax system, i.e. PAYE or Self-Assessment.
You can make a repayment of any amount in order to receive partial cancellation of the Maintenance Loan, but there is a minimum amount that we can accept if you want to make a repayment online.
•The minimum card repayment we can accept online is £5.
•The minimum amount a Direct Debit can be set up for is £5 per month.
How much of my Maintenance Loan will be cancelled?
The calculation to work out the amount of your Maintenance Loan that is cancelled is complex and depends on:
•the value of your first repayment;
•the amount of Maintenance Loan you took out in academic year 2010/11 or 2011/12; and
•your total outstanding balance at the time you make your first repayment.
Below are some simple examples that show how the amount of cancellation can be affected:
Your first repayment is automatically split across the loans (and accumulated interest) you took out during your studies. This means you may actually have more of your 2010/11 or 2011/12 Maintenance Loan cancelled than the following examples show:
If you took out £3,000 Maintenance Loan in 2010/11 or 2011/12 and your first repayment to us is £50, we would cancel £1,500 of your outstanding student loan debt.
If you took out £1,200 Maintenance Loan in 2010/11 or 2011/12 and your first repayment to us is £5, we would cancel £1,195 of your outstanding student loan debt.
If you took out £200 Maintenance Loan in 2010/11 or 2011/12 and your first repayment to us is £200, you would not receive any debt cancellation.
If you take out £1,500 maintenance loan in 2011/12 and you made a voluntary repayment of £5 to us after you received your first instalment (of £500), then £495 of your outstanding student loan debt will be cancelled.
The partial cancellation will not be applied to your remaining instalments due and there will be an additional £1,000 balance on your account at the end of the year (plus interest).
If you take out £1,500 maintenance loan in 2011/12 and you made a voluntary repayment of £50 to us after you received your second instalment (of £500), then £950 of your outstanding student loan debt will be cancelled.
The partial cancellation will not be applied to your remaining instalment due and there will be an additional £500 balance on your account at the end of the year (plus interest).
Full details here: http://www.studentloanrepayment.co.uk/portal/page?_pageid=93,6678622&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL