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UK Student Loan Debt Crisis: 30 Must-Know Statistics

These 30 UK Student Loan Statistics Will Blow Your Mind

Student Loans Are a Hot Topic These Days. College Tuition Is Getting More and More Expensive, While the Job Market Is Improving At a Snail's Pace. This Has Left Many Recent Graduates With Little or No Choice but to Take Out Student Loans for Their Education.

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In this Article

Student loan debt in the UK is at an all-time high, and it’s only going to get worse.

Between tuition fees continuously on the rise, and students having a harder time finding work after graduation, fewer youngers have the means to pay off their loans each year.

Here are the 29 UK student loan debt statistics for 2021.

1. £4,028 in Student Loan Debt

Students graduating From English universities will have an average of £4,028 in student loan debt by the end of their studies.

This is the projected average loan debt for students graduating from English universities, and it’s the highest in Europe.

english university

2. Institutions Funded by Student Debt

About 40% of British universities are reliant on the tuition fees they are getting from students.

This means that they cover operational costs through fees paid by students. The delay in paying back student loans will vastly impact these universities’ financial standing.

reliant on tution fees

3. High Student Loan Interest Rates

The interest rates for student loans are currently at a staggering 175% per year!

This is incredibly high, and it puts students in a difficult situation when they can’t find work post-graduation. Such high rates mean that interest builds up rapidly.

Interest Rates

4. 30 Years Until Written Off

Student loans are only forgiven by the government after 30 years if the balance hasn’t been paid off. 

This is the stage when the loan is finally written off. Unfortunately, this doesn’t include the inflation that needs to be covered.

Loan Forgiven

5. Tuition Fees Are High

The annual tuition fee for most university courses is £9,250. This means student loans are critical for many UK residents to attend university.

annual tuition fee

6. Increase In Loan Amount

20% – 30% of students who have a loaned amount increased from 2017 to 2018. This means fewer graduates each year pay off their loans, which will cause massive problems in just a few years if it continues this way.

loaned amount

7. 11% Repay Rate

The repayment rate for UK student debt is currently 11% annually. It’s been paid off at this rate in the past five years, but it will only get harder as tuition fees continue to rise.

student loan rate

8. Full-Time Undergraduates Take Out Most Loans

As of 2019, about 90% of student loans were taken by full-time undergraduates. 

This statistic is the percentage of loans taken by full-time undergraduates, and it’s a huge number. It means there are more people with student debt than ever before because tuition fees continue to rise while wages stay stagnant.

Undergraduates

9. The Student Loan Company

The student loan company was created in the 1990-1991 academic year.

It’s been a huge help for students who need loans to pay their tuition, which is becoming more expensive as the years go on.

student loan company

10. 13 Million Students Loans Annually

Around 13 million students take up a loan each year, which is an incredibly high number. It means there are more people with debt than ever before because tuition fees continue to rise while wages stay stagnant.

Students Taking Loans

11. 6% More Loans

The total number of borrowers who own higher education loans increased by 6%.

This statistic is the number of borrowers who own higher education loans, and it’s increased by six percent in just one year, so it’s not a surprise that the total amount of debt has also increased.

higher education

12. Student Debt Will Soon Reach £50,800

The total amount of debt for a year of tuition is currently £50,800. If this number continues to increase at this rate, it will reach a massive sum in just five years, and students will have a huge amount of debt to pay off.

High Student Debt

13. Student Loans Rose

The number of student loans rose by 30% between 2016 and 2018. This statistic is so high that it’s not a surprise tuition fees have continued to rise while wages stay stagnant because there are fewer graduates each year paying off their loans, which will cause massive problems in just a few years if it continues this way.

student debt increase

14. Private Universities

The maximum loan students at private universities can get is £6,000 per year.

This means that private university students have to get loans from other sources, such as their parents or family members, if they don’t want to take out more debt than needed for tuition and books because there are fewer graduates each year paying off their loans, which will cause massive problems in just a few years if it continues this way.

Maximum Student Loan

15. Fully Repaid Loans

991,500 borrowers have fully repaid their loans.

There are now only 0.25% of borrowers who have repaid their loan in full. – In 2007, this number was at 12%. It has been declining ever since, and it now stands at only 0.25%.

Fully Repaid Loans

16. HMRC

Loan repayment is made through the employer who deducts the monthly payment and transfers it to HMRC.

Those who repay their loans in full receive a certificate from HMRC1 that confirms that it has been paid in full. The borrower can then pass this certificate to the employer and deduct monthly payments from their wages for as long as they are working there.

Paid Through Employer

17. Outstanding Student Debt

Outstanding student debt in the UK reached a worrying £121 billion in march 2019.

As of March 2019, the total UK student loan debt reached £121 billion (£20 000 for every borrower), which is a figure that has been increasing steadily for the past few years.

outstanding debt

18. Outstanding Loans

The value of outstanding loans at the end of march 2021 reached £141 billion.

These loans are projected to increase in value by £20 billion this year, and we’re now set for an outstanding total of at least £141 billion in loans, which is a worrying figure.

End of March

19. New Student Finance System

On 1 October 2017, prime minister Theresa May announced that there would be changes to the student finance system.

Theresa May’s2 announcement came in response to a petition signed by more than 300,000 people, which had been in response to the news that student loans were set to rise.

Theresa May

20. Most Student Loans in Europe

England has the most student loans, with over £17 billion being lent to 13 million students each year, and the most recent statistics show that there are now over half a million student loan borrowers in England who owe more than £50,000.

current students

21. Wide-Ranging Review Into Post-18 Education

On 19 February 2018, the prime minister announced that there would be a “wide-ranging review into post-18 education”

Theresa May’s announcement came following the publication of a report by the Social Market Foundation (SMF)3, which found that “the current system is not delivering for many people.”

Theresa May Announcement

22. Things Are Looking Up

The government has estimated that 25% of full-time undergraduates who took out loans would repay them in full. However, as we’ve seen from the statistics on repayment aforementioned, only 0.25% can do so now, and these numbers have been declining for several years.

Current Full-Time Undergraduates

23. The Average Debt

The average debt among the cohort of borrowers who finished their courses in 2020 was £45,000, and the average debt among those who finished their courses in 2019 was £42,500.

Average Debt

24. The Loan Balance

The loan balance for both England and EU further education borrowers reached £14 billion by the end of March, a figure that has been steadily increasing each year. – This number is over four times what it was in 2019-2020 (£375 million).

Loan Balance

25. Financial Year 2020-21

The financial year 2020-21 was the first year in which all students paid higher interest rates, which increased over four years, from April 2017 to March 2021.

high interest rate

26. Further Education Borrowers Balance

The balance of loans taken out by students who studied at a university or college in England has reached £1774 million by the end of the financial year 2020-21, increasing the previous year’s figures.

Education Borrowers

27. Higher Education Undergraduate-Only Borrowers

The amount lent to higher education undergraduate-only borrowers in the financial year 2020-21 was £180 billion, a significant increase on the figures from 2017, which amounted to just £127 billion.

Undergraduate Borrowers

28. Higher Education Postgraduate Education

The amount lent for higher education postgraduate education was £86.94 million by the end of 2020-21, a decrease on last year’s figure (£10425). This decrease is attributed to the increase in tuition fees for postgraduate courses.

amount for higher education

29. The Average Student Loan Debt

According to the BBC, the average student loan debt in the UK is about £35,000, and this figure is calculated from the total debt of those who have paid off their loans.

Average Student Debt In UK

Common Questions

What Type Of Loans Can a Student Take Out in the UK?

How Much Money Can a Student Borrow In the UK, and How Does This Amount Change Over Time?

What Are the Implications of Not Paying Off Loans?

How Can You Repay Your Debt Promptly to Avoid These Consequences?

In Conclusion

The British government has been issuing loans to students since the 1950s, and in recent years these have grown into one of the largest forms of UK debt.

With student loan debt statistics showing that more than 1 million people live with a total outstanding balance of over £50k ($77,000), it is clear this issue needs addressing urgently.

References

  • www.markinstylecouk/uk-student-debt-statistics/
  • www.statistacom/statistics/376423/uk-student-loan-debt/
  • www.govuk/government/organisations/student-loans-company/about/statistics
  • www.commonslibraryparliamentuk/research-briefings/sn01079/
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