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The Reality Of Student Debt About To Hit Home To Many?

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http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/mortar...-debt-recession

Another day, another poll reveals that students are entrenched in debt, refusing to save and probably doomed. A YouGov poll of 2030 adults has shown that the average student debt of £15,700 will take more than 12 years to repay on a typical graduate salary of £22,300.

The monthly repayments for a graduate with this debt would start at £54 a month and take up to 12 years to repay, assuming an annual average wage increase of 4.6%. With graduate unemployment expected to double this year , the future is less than rosy for my generation.

The poll, which was conducted in April this year, also shows that 44% of young people aged 18-24 are not saving any money at all, despite 64% being more concerned about their financial situation today than in April 2008. The results seems to suggest heightened awareness about student debt, but an inability to tackle it.

About 8% of 18-24 year-olds, meanwhile, are spending more than half their salary on unsecured debt, a troubling statistic that highlights the post-university struggle to pay back unsecured loans that some students face.

Four years ago – carefree, wide-eyed and brimming with hope – an arts student such as myself might have hoped to fare better. In my naivety, I had always imagined a degree would propel me into the jobs market, and eventually landing me a cushy job. Perhaps at Bloomsbury, or maybe the Guardian. I wasn't particularly fussy.

As the reality of the recession hits home, however, the options are becoming more limited: teach, work for free, or bunk off to Europe.

There's always life as a scholar. There's something about the comforting glow of academia that magically dispels the crippling fear of accumulating monstrous levels of debt. Student life is addictive, and burying your head in the sand (or a mountain of books) can seem like a very good idea.

This may all be about to change, however. The frontline fight for jobs is being played out against a backdrop of a national war being waged between the NUS and universities who are attempting to put a price tag on higher education. While vice-chancellors battle to raise the cap on tuition fees, the NUS seeks a graduate tax, which it says will be a fairer, means-tested way of determining the value of a degree.

Of course, the fact that graduates can't get jobs right now can't be doing an awful lot for the value of university education. As a result, the cap on tuition fees will probably remain for the time being. But it's a hollow victory indeed when the NUS's fight is won on the basis that a significant number of graduate degrees are actually diminishing in worth.

In short, the class of 2009 faces crippling debt, devalued degrees, and more competition than ever. But it can't all be bad news. Hell, if all else fails, we can always go and work at McDonalds... Oh wait. Maybe not.

Graduates with huge debt and low paid work likely, yep the recovery can be here and house prices will rocket.

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My mate told me there was a girl at his uni who bought a car with her student loan, the funny part is that she hadn't even started learning yet.

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My mate told me there was a girl at his uni who bought a car with her student loan, the funny part is that she hadn't even started learning yet.

Ahhhh, so they've been buying cars with the money. I thought it was to pay massive 3k tuition fees.

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'on a typical graduate salary of £22,300'. There are a lot of new graduates earning less than that an most will be lucky to even get a job at all - i guess at the same time you would expect to be earning a lot more than that after 12 years.

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Well there are two parts to the student loan, the first part is the actual loan to pay for the tuition fees and the other part is the money that the students use to pay for food/drink/socialising ect if they live away from home which the vast majority of students do. That is what she was using to buy the car.

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Ahhhh, so they've been buying cars with the money. I thought it was to pay massive 3k tuition fees.

Of course.

Its a difficult issue because there are some still, like in the good old days, coming down with malnuitrition in unheated, damp, bedsits eeking out a pot noodle a day. But as a gross generalisation, students today have a much better lifestyle than they used to.

Edited by Cogs

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'on a typical graduate salary of £22,300'. There are a lot of new graduates earning less than that an most will be lucky to even get a job at all - i guess at the same time you would expect to be earning a lot more than that after 12 years.

Yeah, that old 'typical starting salary'. That's an average based on starting salaries from 'leading graduate employers' ie. big blue chips that used to select from the 'milk round'. Only one in forty graduates gets this type of job now.

If you include all graduates then starting salaries would encompass the thousands in bar work, retailer, call centres or office junior jobs.

Edited by CrashedOutAndBurned

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I really don't understand why people even want to bother with Uni these days - you pay for something which has little value and load yourself with debt for nothing.

Yes, if I had my time over I'd have maybe gone in as a young mature student once I'd seen the real world for a few years, or I would chosen a fantastically pointless course like film making and at least had a great three year holiday or I would have just said sod it.

Edited by CrashedOutAndBurned

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You pay 9% of your gross salary above £15k... and the interest rates are less than net saving rates - so it's worth taking the full amount!

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Yes, if I had my time over I'd have maybe gone in as a young mature student once I'd seen the real world for a few years, or I would chosen a fantastically pointless course like film making and at least had a great three year holiday or I would have just said sod it.

"I would chosen a fantastically pointless course like film making"....

COAB, I suppose if you took it to the nth degree, EVERYTHING you do is pointless...in the end. Why be so down on Filmmaking? I make my living through documentary films which have been shown worldwide. Still, it's all pretty pointless - we're all a "traveller to the grave" as Morrissey once wrote...haha!

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Many of these loans are 'neg am'

......i.e getting bigger due to not paying off even the interest.

That's a bit grim.

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"I would chosen a fantastically pointless course like film making"....

COAB, I suppose if you took it to the nth degree, EVERYTHING you do is pointless...in the end. Why be so down on Filmmaking? I make my living through documentary films which have been shown worldwide. Still, it's all pretty pointless - we're all a "traveller to the grave" as Morrissey once wrote...haha!

Quite a few posters on here work in film and tv. BBC Worldwide exported 40,000 hours of tv last year. Hundreds of millions involved accross the sector. Its big business, and we are very good at it.

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Yeah, that old 'typical starting salary'. That's an average based on starting salaries from 'leading graduate employers' ie. big blue chips that used to select from the 'milk round'. Only one in forty graduates gets this type of job now.

If you include all graduates then starting salaries would encompass the thousands in bar work, retailer, call centres or office junior jobs.

Reality is nearer 15K-20K. I teach graduates, have two as sons, and talk to dozens. £18K is looked on as acceptable money in their first proper job - when they can find one.

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Reality is nearer 15K-20K. I teach graduates, have two as sons, and talk to dozens. £18K is looked on as acceptable money in their first proper job - if they can find one.

Fixed I think for the current climate.

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Rent and tuition take most of the loan up, rent especially if your studying in london.

Mine was £125pw to rent a room!!!

student loans are evil, there should be no loans.

Go if you can afford it without a loan and do not if you cannot.

Right now, kids dont know if they can or can not afford it so go anyway.

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"I would chosen a fantastically pointless course like film making"....

COAB, I suppose if you took it to the nth degree, EVERYTHING you do is pointless...in the end. Why be so down on Filmmaking? I make my living through documentary films which have been shown worldwide. Still, it's all pretty pointless - we're all a "traveller to the grave" as Morrissey once wrote...haha!

I'm not down on film making, just courses that scam 18 year olds into thinking they're going to be the next Tarrantino or Von Trier by getting 20k of debt to do one.

Er, because 99% of people on those courses do not have meaningful careers in film-making afterwards? Probably just as many people broke into film making by some other route than those who took courses?

I wouldn't have had any grand illusions. I'm have just filmed a laughable slasher flick for a final project and gone off to stack shelves in Borders saying, 'It was good while it lasted'.

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I'm not down on film making, just courses that scam 18 year olds into thinking they're going to be the next Tarrantino or Von Trier by getting 20k of debt to do one.

Er, because 99% of people on those courses do not have meaningful careers in film-making afterwards? Probably just as many people broke into film making by some other route than those who took courses?

I wouldn't have had any grand illusions. I'm have just filmed a laughable slasher flick for a final project and gone off to stack shelves in Borders saying, 'It was good while it lasted'.

Some do get into various areas of the business, but they won't be directing anything.

My experience of most student would-be directors is that they are incapable of making even the 2/3 really original, under-10-min films that will get them noticed by the trade at the bigger film festivals (cf director Lynne Ramsay or Damien O'Donnell). This takes too much hard work and talent, and its always where real directors start.

Young people always want to start with a 'feature' - with no experience, no script, no budget, no distribution - and no f***in' chance. I don't even listen to that talk anymore.

But the most driven will get minor positions in film/tv/animation, and then actually start learning the business.

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