Packhorse Generation: the long debt tail of student loans

Document type
Clarke, Estelle
Intergenerational Foundation
Date of publication
20 January 2017
Education and Skills, Poverty Alleviation Welfare Benefits and Financial Inclusion
Social welfare
Material type

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This report concentrates on student loans taken out to cover student fees. It does not include the additional costs of student maintenance loans taken out to cover living costs.

The research follows the likely interest that will be charged to graduates over a 30-year loan term. It concludes that due to the front-loading of debt and interest charged, which is compounded monthly, most students – apart from higher earners – will be unable to escape their student debt and still owe large amounts at the end of the loan term.

The paper argues that such large non-repayment levels mean that the terms of borrowing could become more punitive unless students receive better protection from policy makers.