Students face £5bn debt

21 September 2006
Credit reference agency Callcredit has warned that this summer's crop of 345,000 new students could emerge from university with a combined debt of over £5 billion.

Several analysts have blamed the rise in the UK's 'debt culture' on young people, particularly students, being forced into huge arrears from an early age.

The average student starting a course this autumn will graduate with debts of over £15,000, which is nearly three times the average for graduating students seven years ago (£6,161).

Mel Mitchley, the industry relations director for Callcredit, warned that students faced taking up uncompetitive products on credit cards and post-graduate loans and overdrafts because they would generally have little or no credit history.

"Life is financially harder for students now than it has ever been and the decisions people make about their borrowing while they are studying will impact on their finances for years to come," she said.

Ms Mitchley also added that getting access to the right information was paramount to maintaining a positive financial future.

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