OPINION: 'Your 20s are the best years of your life? Not with student loan interest rates hitting 12%'

“Your twenties are the best years of your life,” is a phrase which is often uttered.

By Anastasia A Christodoulou
Friday, 15th April 2022, 7:35 am

But without being too pessimistic, I’m not sure they’ll crack up to be all people have said they’ll be.

By the age of 22, I’ve witnessed a global pandemic, fuel energy prices rising to unprecedented levels, and now the student loan interest rate is about to hit 12 per cent in England.

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University of Sheffield student Anastasia A Christodoulou

Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t convinced I’d be paying back much of my student loan, but surely putting students in innumerable amounts of debt is extremely unproductive.

Most students look at their student debt as a tax that they will pay until it gets written off in their 50s. If the price of education and the interest rates are so high that realistically very few will be able to pay it back, what is the point?

If the crippling burden of debt wasn’t enough to put many bright students off from attending university, this is the highest interest rate since tuition fees for students in England were raised to £9,000 in 2012.

The increased marketisation of the university system means that a lot of institutions focus on attracting students, but do not do a good job of looking after them once they agree to be saddled with debt.

With the jobs market getting increasingly competitive for graduates each year, starting salaries getting lower, and the prices of basic necessities getting higher, this interest rate rise will only add more uncertainty to a generation that is already struggling.