UK journalists are likely to only pay back 43% of their student loans before they’re written off

Student protest
Students protest the rise in education fees in 2014. Carl Court / Getty

In 2012, the maximum amount universities in the UK could charge for a year of education increased to £9,000 from £3,375. In 2017, it increased again to £9,250 per year.

Both decisions were met with protests, and students all over the country argued they were being priced out of their own education.

According to research from MyVoucherCodes, students currently applying for university will be in at least £47,929 worth of debt when they graduate, if they also have a maintenance loan. Extra loans have become more widely necessary because maintenance grants were scrapped in 2016.

However, like previous student loan agreements, the debt gets written off after a certain amount of time. With the latest fee payback plans, the debt will be cleared automatically 30 years after graduation. You also only start repayments when you start earning over £21,000 a year.

This — along with the interest that accumulates — means many people will never pay off all of their student debt.

MyVoucherCodes found that students who pursue certain careers will only have paid off about half of their fees by the time the slate is wiped clean.

Total repayment graph new1

The research showed that publishers and journalists will probably only pay off 43% of what they owe, and those in retail management are likely to pay back 53%.

Those studying veterinary science are at university for five years — six if they study at Cambridge — meaning they can rack up £82,326 in debt. They are only likely to have paid back 53% of that after 30 years.

Some professions just about pay their way before the cut off. Those with a career as a mechanical engineer, for example, will have paid it all back in 29 years and four months, along with £27,930 worth of interest.

On the other end of the scale, investment bankers and financial managers will have paid the entirety of their loans in just over 14 and 13 years respectively.

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