Middle income graduate will still have £39,000 student loan debt at age 40

10th April 2014

The average student will leave university more than £44,000 in debt with nearly three quarters unable to clear the debt before it is written off after 30 years.

The report by the Institute for Fiscal Studies and the Sutton Trust estimates that the average student will leave university more than £44,000 in debt.

It suggests that a middle-earning graduate will still owe about £39,000 at today’s prices by the age of 40, and will still owe about £32,000 by 50.

The report suggests that professionals such as teachers may be typical of the group.

The Sutton Trust’s director of research Conor Ryan says: “For many professionals, such as teachers, this will mean having to find up to £2,500 extra a year to service loans at a time when their children are still at school and family and mortgage costs are at their most pressing. We believe that the government needs to look again at fees, loans and teaching grants to get a fairer balance.”

Graduates will now repay a total of £66,897 on average, equating in real terms to £35,446 on average in 2014 prices says the research.

Although large numbers will repay more than they borrowed, most will not return their loan in full the study finds.

“We estimate 73% will have some debt written off at the end of the repayment period, compared with 32% under the old system. The average amount written off will be substantial – about £30,000.”

 

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