Average student loan debt has reached £ 9,620 and nine out of every 10 students are now borrowing to pay for their university education. But who gives non-working student money to pay for student life?

The average student entering higher education will now leave university with a debt of around £ 10,000. This consists of a combination of student loans, credit cards, and overdrafts. But this figure is set to rocket the sky as Barclays predicts students graduating in 2010 will face £ 30,000 in debt.

Although some figures suggest that graduates can expect higher than average income, students may not actually be in well-paying jobs for several years after graduation. Unfortunately for some people, this premium in income may never even be enough to wipe out their accumulated personal debt.

The best way to avoid a struggle is to learn about and prepare for any costs involved during our course period including the time it may take you to find a job afterward.

First, tuition fees – this pays for the actual courses you want to take.

Prior to 1999 the Government covered all costs. But now, the increasing appetite for higher education is forcing the Government to change the system. This is also justified by the claim that over the course of their working life a graduate can earn £ 400,000 more than a non-graduate.

However, not everyone has to pay tuition fees. If your parents’ combined income is below a certain threshold, they don’t need to pay. From the threshold upward, the contribution operates on a shear scale.

Although, regardless of their income, the maximum each family has to pay amounts to about a quarter of the total course fee each year. This is estimated to be around £ 4,000 and the Government will still take the bill for the remaining amount.

As soon as you are accepted into the course, you will need to register with your Local Education Authority (LEA) to find out what types of financial assistance you can get.

Thinking of taking out a loan to fund your course?


Most students need to take out one or more student loans to cover their daily life. These are unsecured loans with very low interest rates that reflect the inflation rate meaning you only pay back the exact amount you borrowed.

If you are going to take out a loan, you must contact your LEA at the same time you apply for support towards tuition fees. Your LEA will assess the loan amount you are entitled to receive and invite you to ask how much you would like to apply for. You must then notify the Student Loan Company (SLC) of the agreed amount and it will pay money into your account on the first day of the term of office. Also note that you are eligible for more funding if you study in London.

You can apply for one loan for each year of your course and you don’t have to start making payments until April (end of tax year) after you graduate. From then on, you will only start paying back the loan if you get above a certain threshold.

Then the amount you pay back each month will depend on how much you earn. If you never get over the threshold, the loan will be cleared when you turn 65.