Finally I have found a moment to respond to some comments here and here and re-written this post to clarify my ranting a bit. Do take a look.
Meanwhile, although I have made the point when referring to Dave's comments below, I would like to clarify that (according to Wikipedia) the Student Loans Company is not a private company. Instead, it "is a non-departmental public body of the United Kingdom government, responsible for the provision of financial support to students attending university."
Of course, by hiding behind the moniker of a "Limited Company" they can do all sorts of wrong and blame 'privatisation' and 'evil capitalists' and the like. This government is really rather good at that, and it's amazing how many apparently intelligent people are so easily fooled.
In this case the wrongdoing stems around the fact that the current rate of interest on a Student Loan is 4.8%. Despite assurances that this was a loan "at the rate of inflation" 4.8% is in fact at least double other figures which I have seen recently purporting to be "the rate of inflation". If public sector workers had their pay capped at this, and not 2.1%, we might have less cause for discontent, threats of strikes, and large scale protests.
Then, as I have said before, because they don't deduct what is paid back until the end of the tax year, I am paying out each month whilst watching my loan continue to rise. I really should do my sums, but I reckon that this makes the actual rate of interest paid very high indeed.
Of course, you have to read the small print to find this out. If you're burdened with a loan, I wonder if reading this makes you as horrified as I was...