Barclays has revealed that the average graduate debt in 2004 showed a 12 per cent increase on figures for 2003.
The eleventh Barclays Annual Graduate Survey found that the average student was graduating £13,501 in debt - a collective debt worth £2.46 billion for the 250,625 students who completed their degrees last year.
Increased living costs and a more relaxed attitude to debt are two factors in the increase, according to Jeremy Law, head of student and graduate banking at Barclays.
"As predicted, graduate debt is continuing its upward trend, due to a number of factors including rising living costs, and a more resigned attitude towards debt," Mr Law commented.
"If this trend continues, students starting a three year course this September could be graduating with debts of almost £20,000."
It's not all gloom and doom, however. Fewer graduates are actually leaving university with heavy debts according to the Barclays survey - 73 per cent in 2004 compared with 80 per cent in 2003.
The bank also reveals that graduates are taking a mature approach to their finances, with more than a third (36 per cent) focusing on repaying debts and 29 per cent saying that saving was top of their priority list - three per cent more than last year. Click here to find out student mortgages.
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