University education is free at the point to access in the United Kingdom and don’t forget it! No matter your background you can afford to go to university. That is truer than ever with student “loans”, you never have to pay it back if you can’t afford it. In fact repayments for someone on £25k are about £30/mo which is less than most peoples phone bills. It is the best risk free gamble anyone can take.
When the Metro publishes headlines saying “student loans are worse than any mortgage“, I would politely ask them where I can get that mortgage? I don’t know of any mortgages that clear after 30 years; or if I am not earning enough I don’t have to pay without consequences. This completely misleads those that might be applying for a student loan and wrongly puts people off studying.
Almost 60% of students won’t repay their loans in full according to government estimates. It is irrelevant if you will never pay it back in full, because it cancels after 30 years. The only people losing out here are the tax payers who have to make up that short fall. These are same tax payers that would have to pay the full £9,000 if we got rid of loans.
Yes there are improvements to make in the system. Those on low income often leave with more maintenance “loans”. However the size of your loan doesn’t define the size of your repayments. This means my loan could be 10 times larger than yours, but we both repay the same £30/mo (assuming we earn the same). This does mean those with larger debts could have to make repayments for the full 30 years, where as someone with less might finish paying off earlier. The 60% of incomplete repayments helps reduce the significance of this difference though.
Calling it “debt” is utterly misleading! It is more like a graduate contribution for receiving a free further education. Promises of free university are again completely misleading. The money has to come from somewhere. “free university” means more of it comes from that 50% that don’t go to university. You are asking people who don’t directly benefit from that education and have worked hard to pay for you. Society as a whole does indirectly benefit from more graduates, but not as much as the individual who went. That is why loan is just a individuals contribution towards the true cost which can be 3 times more.