student life

Financial pressure and its effects on Britain’s students

Student finance
Written by C Wolsey

The average university student in the UK will accrue more than £50,000 in debt before they complete their education, highlighting just how financially taxing the endeavor can be. However, what many don’t realise is the effects that such financial pressure can put on Britain’s youth, oftentimes leading to stress and having a negative impact on one’s mental health. From the role that loans can play to the costs of university (in more ways than one), here’s how today’s financial pressures are affecting students — and what can be done to help.

The mental health costs of Uni 

When it comes to students and their financial matters, the pressure can often translate into mental health concerns. In fact, 67% of students concerned about their financial situation feel that their mental health has been negatively affected, according to one survey. The same report discovered that 66% of female students found that financial worries regularly trigger stress, as opposed to 43% of males who felt similarly. And, when it came to the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic (and the financial effects that resulted from it), 48% of students have actually considered dropping out of uni entirely or deferring for a year. While this highlights just how taxing financial concerns can be for students, many may find that taking out a loan helps them to take off some of the pressure — whether it be a personal loan for rent or textbooks, or a government student loan to help with tuition. 

The value of loans

Currently, more than £17 billion is loaned out to about 1.3 million students in England each year, proving just how common student loans are among those attending uni. Being the main method of direct government support for students in higher education, those who need extra support may turn to personal loans to help with expenses like textbooks, rent, and other bills in order to continue their educational endeavors with as little financial stress as possible. For instance, quick cash loans allow borrowers to have the money they need in as little as 10 minutes, and often bring features to the table that would appeal to university students — like 3-36 month repayment periods, and the ability to borrow regardless of credit history. 

Making a change?

When it comes to making a positive change regarding the UK’s student loan system, the Treasury has been pushing for a tuition fee cut to £8,500. In turn, this would effectively work to reduce the amount that undergraduate students would have to borrow, as well as the amount of unpaid debt that would be picked up by the state in the long run (should the borrowers not repay said loans within 30 years). However, this has been said to be opposed by officials at the DfE and No 10, as there are concerns that such a change would have a negative effect on universities (since they’re already under pressure from rising inflation). Additionally, it’s worth mentioning that ministers have also been actively considering cutting the threshold that graduates begin to repay their loans from £27,000 to £23,000, something that would work to save the Treasury billions of pounds.

Students in the UK are undoubtedly under financial pressure, especially following the financial fallout from the pandemic. However, when it comes to getting support, loans are often the go-to solution while talks of changing the system are also underway.