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Student loan concerns ‘could deter future students from attending university’

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In April, it was announced that 10 years would be added to the repayment period for new entrants next year (Alamy/PA)
In April, it was announced that 10 years would be added to the repayment period for new entrants next year (Alamy/PA)

Almost half (49%) of university students and graduates aged 18 to 22 say the prospect of taking out a student loan made them think twice about attending university, a survey has found.

A third (36%) of people surveyed predicted the situation would worsen and deter future students from attending university, according to the findings from credit reference agency Equifax.

In April, it was announced that 10 years would be added to the repayment period for new entrants next year and the tuition fee cap would be frozen at £9,250 for a further two years – up to and including the 2024 to 2025 academic year.

While student loan repayments might be a cause for worry for many people, it is important to remember that they don’t appear on your credit score, and that repayments vary by income, so people are usually only paying back what they can afford

Paula Roche, Equifax

Paula Roche, managing director of consumer solutions at Equifax, said: “While student loan repayments might be a cause for worry for many people, it is important to remember that they don’t appear on your credit score, and that repayments vary by income, so people are usually only paying back what they can afford.

“But prospective students should be aware that if they are using other forms of credit to supplement their student loan while at university this could affect their ability to get credit after they graduate.”

Equifax’s top five tips for freshers are:

– Pick your student account wisely as some may leave you with a massive overdraft, which will cause problems if you cannot pay it back after graduation.

– Live within your means at university and do not feel pressured into spending more than you can to fit into student culture.

– Remember to make repayments on time if you open a credit card or take out buy now, pay later loans.

University life can be hectic with deadlines and exams, but make sure to pay your bills on time.

– Always reach out to a trusted friend or family member or organisation for help if trying to tackle finances at university.

Research for the survey was conducted by business-to-business service Opinium among 3,035 UK adults aged between 18 and 40.

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