Lots of students worry about the tuition fee loan and the maintenance loan as it is a form of debt but it’s not a bad type of debt to have. It’s a loan but it’s not treated like all other types of debt.

Martin Lewis, the creator of money savings expert, shows that if you are £50000 in debt when you leave university from taking both the maximum tuition and maintenance loans, how much you repay depends on the job you get after university. If you earn a lot after university then you pay back a lot, if you don’t earn a lot after university you don’t pay as much. You only repay 9% of everything you earn above £26500. Money savings expert has explained this in more detail but if you don’t have a high paying job you don’t pay that much back and if you have a high paying job after university, the 9% repayment of everything above £26500 should barely affect you, assuming you don’t spend more than you earn in a year. After 30 years all the remaining debt is wiped and even within the 30 years, most people will never pay all of the loan back. To be precise the 30 years starts from when you start to pay the loan off.

Student loans aren’t considered like traditional debt where there will be debt collectors trying to get you to make payments on time and the student loans don’t appear on your credit file so applying for loans in the future won’t be affected by the £50000 debt accumulated by going to university. If you choose to you can also pay off the student loans early but I don’t believe it’s necessary.

I recommend taking the student loan and tuition fee loan as it will allow students to attend university without the stress of having to have the £9250 plus the money needed to live in accommodation or at home every year. This means you can choose to get a part-time job and ensures that you can dedicate more time to studying for your degree instead of working to pay off a degree that you haven’t secured yet. I would prioritize working towards completing your degree so you can get the best job you can and then paying off the student loan. This will probably relieve some stress while attending university and will allow you to focus on more important things.

If you do consider getting the tuition fee and maintenance loan I suggest applying for them quite early as this will ensure that you can get the maximum possible when applying for the loans as those who apply late will either get less funding than other students for their maintenance or will receive their maintenance later than other students (the tuition fee loan is not affected if you apply late as long as your application is processed before starting at university). You can apply for them before you have decided which university you’re going to attend as you can change where the money for the tuition fee is paid to by calling student finance and telling them which university has confirmed your placement.

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