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Creditfix LB 03-2017

University Students Face Credit and Debt Problems

Over 15 per cent of university students in the UK have been chased by debt collectors, according to a survey conducted by financial technology company Intelligent Environments.

The research, conducted in January this year of 300 students, also showed that nearly 60 per cent run out of money before their next payment is due and over 25 per cent have missed rental payments during the year.

Almost 40 per cent of the university students surveyed by the company also said that outstanding debt has meant they cannot afford their required weekly shop for food and essentials.

The financial problems found also cannot be blamed on typical student lifestyle. The company commented: ‘Defying stereotypes of drunken nights and time spent socialising, the top three items students spend their money on were revealed to be rent (78 per cent), food (69 per cent) and utility bills (47 per cent).’

Many students were also found to rely on extra sources of income to get through university, including student overdrafts or savings, help from friends or family, or even taking out credit cards and payday loans to help finance their way through.

The financial stress doesn’t even end once the degree has been finished. Vice president of welfare at the National Union of Students (NUS), Shelly Asquith, confirmed that NUS research shows almost 60 percent of graduates have existing debts left over from their degree.

It was found that access to digital tools supplied by banks and financial institutions would help with the situation, as 48 per cent of university students polled said that they would be less likely to get into debt if they had access to a digital app.

The total of outstanding student loan debts in the UK is growing year on year. The latest government statistics for outstanding student loan debt in the financial year of 2014 to 2015 showed the total had reached £73.5 billion.

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