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Graduates too poor to pay back student loans

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by David Masters
Graduates too poor to pay back student loans

Half the university students who graduated since tuition fees were introduced are too poor to pay back their student loans.

Of the 1.4 million graduates who started university after 1998, 702,000 are earning too little to pay back debt accrued whilst studying.

Repayments are triggered when graduates start earning at least £15,000 per year; over half a million graduates have never reached this threshold.

One in ten students were unemployed after leaving university last year, it has emerged, with an increasing number working in low-paid jobs such as bar-staff, labourers, cleaners, shelf-stackers, and parking attendants.

Stephen Williams, the Liberal Democrat higher education spokesman, said: “It’s depressing that so many graduates are earning far below what would usually be considered a graduate salary.”

“Thousands of them are going to be carrying a huge debt burden for many years to come.”

A government spokesperson said a degree stands graduates “in good stead for a long a successful career”.

The number of people applying for university increased 7.8% this year.

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News posted: July 26, 2009

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