My British wife went to university in the UK from 2001 to 2005. She got a student loan with SLC and was never charged anything because her income was too low. She left the UK in 2011, never earning a salary higher than £25,000 per year.
We reside in the US and started a family here. Our lives moved on. We were never contacted about paying it back. Now, in the end of 2018, SLC got in touch with her asking to repay a balance of £20,000 with an interest rate of 1.79% p.a. My wife's salary alone is approximately $20,000 (£16,000) but our joint salaries are well over £25,000.
With this situation, I have a few doubts:
I read somewhere about loan cancellation. Is that still a thing? Couldn't her loan be cancelled because she didn't make enough money up until 2011?
Does the repayment take into consideration our joint salaries or just hers? (considering the debt was acquired prior to our marriage in 2013)
What are the consequences for her and our children of her not paying off her debt?