Student and Graduate Loans
Student and graduate loans are becoming more popular as student debt continues to rise and students seek alternative ways of dealing with it. The good news is that student or graduate loans are generally available without the need to show steady income or offer security. This is extremely helpful, as most students will not have either of these. Student and graduate loans also come at relatively good interest rates, particularly having regard to the fact that they are completely unsecured. The thing to be wary of is that such loans may lock the student into a long-term relationship with the lender that may not be the most advantageous one. Student Debt Students leaving college today average about £14,000 in debt.
More than two thirds of all students must borrow and the vast majority of this debt takes comes from special loans provided by the Student Loan Company. Once the student begins working, the loans will be repaid, but the interest rates are capped at the highly attractive rate of 1% above base rate. This is very low compared to most sources of credit available. The rules for repayment are simple. Beginning in the April after graduation, 9% of all earnings above £15,000 are automatically taken to repay the Student Loan Company.
The loans are therefore very safe, as they are only due once you join the workforce and begin to earn a steady salary. Graduate Loans Graduate loans on the other hand, are far more expensive than student loans. These loans are generally offered on graduation, when student loans are no longer available, to cover the costs of transition from student life to working life. This may include finding a new place to live, buying work clothes etc. Graduate loans will also be used to pay off student overdrafts, which are offered to all students as standard features of their bank accounts. The point to remember is that while graduate loans are relatively cheap when compared to personal loans, they are far more expensive than student loans. Employment If you have a job lined up, you may be able to borrow money from your new employer at a far better rate. This is one alternative to graduate loans. Another alternative is career development loans, which are available to those studying for certain professional qualifications such as medicine or law. Many high street lenders offer these.
It can be very easy to lose control of debt while studying. The credit is very easy to obtain and repayments so far into the future that they don’t seem real. However, high student debt can seriously hamper attempts to buy a home once you enter the workforce, or save for a pension. The trends show that while student debt continues to increase, graduates are faring better, relying less on borrowing and more on salaries, to meet their needs.
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