From my brief survey of the English student loan system from the Student Loan Company (a government owned organisation), I found the following information:
- Your student loan is cancelled 30 years after you become eligible to repay.
There are other criteria that allow for non-repayment. Information is found on their website. Included there is the information that loans are abandoned upon death. In some legislatures, individual debt is added to the estate which can be accepted or rejected by the next-in-kin. A sizeable student debt may discourage the acceptance of the estate. This is not the case in England, but is something to consider elsewhere.
Loan Cancellation.(n.d.) Student Loan Company. Retrieved on Nov 26 2015 from: http://www.slc.co.uk/services/loan-repayment/loan-cancellation.aspx