Students mull home living to avoid debt

Sarah Davidson

October 3, 2012

The figure, which only represents debts run up during their time at university, is double that expected by the previous years’ intakes.

Overall, other university students (non-first years) anticipate they’ll finally leave with debts of around £20,000.

The most common debt taken on during their university years is a student loan, with (80%) of students and graduates questioned having taken out at least one loan.

A quarter (25%) are currently borrowing money from parents or grandparents while over a third (34%) are accumulating overdrafts and more than one in ten (14%) uses credit cards.

Despite the common use of loans and credit, the majority (55%) of students are worried about the levels of debt they will run-up by the time they leave university. Furthermore a third (32%) of graduates surveyed said they wish they had managed their money more carefully while studying.

Despite inexperience and concerns about getting into debt, over half (58%) of those students questioned claim they have never received any advice on managing their finances while at university.

Karen Broughton, a director at the Monday Advice Service, said: “Debt is now a normal part of university life, but with careful management it needn’t be a worry for current or prospective students.

“Whether living at home or moving away to study, students have to make major choices about budgeting and banking. It’s vital to get the right advice before taking on debt and make plans to get a grip on money matters. Otherwise uncontrollable debts can become very expensive to pay off long after graduation.

“To maximise their income as much as possible, we urge students to take advantage of the handy tools on our website – such as budget planners and calculators like our Money Stretcher and Cutback Calculator which can quickly highlight where you can make everyday savings.”

Phil Davis, chairman at the National Association of Student Money Adviser, said: “It’s really important that students are fully aware of all options for funding available to them, including student loans, to ensure they maximise their income during study. Funding from the Student Loans Company is preferable to other forms of credit because of the flexible repayment terms, which take account of personal circumstances.”

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