Tuesday, March 23, 2010

An Education, thanks

This month I paid off my student loans, as those of you on Twitter might have seen.

Sorry, I'm just going to type that out again because it hasn't quite sunk in yet.

I paid off my student loans.

It's taken a decade. Well over three times the length of time I was at Uni.

In the grand scheme of stuff, I was pretty lucky. Being one of the last ILEA kids, I also went though Uni just before tuition fees came in. So I left with just under £5,000 of debt.

Just to say again, it's taken ten years.

Okay, okay. Anyone with half their wits can see I'm not very good at budgeting or handling money. I'm first to admit that. Me? Money? Generally pretty hapless (although I do have a pension. MADNESS.).

But it never really bothered me when I left education, as everyone I knew was in the same amount of debt, and it would be ages before we had to think about paying it off..

It's at this point that I have to mention that most of the people leaving Uni I speak to now, leave with well over £20,000 of debt.

Which, at the rate I went, would take somewhere between thirty and forty years to pay off. Thirty years of guaranteed debt. Debt that's normal. Expected. Run-of-the-mill.

Yeah. Not sure I'd go to Uni now either.


Tim Footman said...

Speaking as an old fart, who not only avoided top-up fees, but actually got a small grant (not a loan) to go to university (Where did this 'uni' malarkey originate? Sounds Australian to me.) the bitter irony is that the cost to the user of a university education has been rising as its value (because of HE expansion) is falling. So not only do graduates accrue a large debt, but the qualification that the debt paid for is actually less valuable, because there are so many others offering the same thing. I went to a selective, state-funded school, and only about half my A-level class went on to university (mostly by choice - they could have gone if they'd wanted). Now it's 100%.

It needs a brave employer to say that, since degrees are devalued currency (Many are good; quite a few aren't; it can be difficult to identify which is which.) they'll stop requiring them for 'graduate level' jobs.

Geoff said...

I wonder what degree I would have chosen if I'd been a teenager now. I had no idea in 1980 and then the world was my oyster for free. What percentage of the 50% of school leavers that the government want to get into higher education are as sick and tired of studying as I was at 18? And then you've got to pay for the privilege!

LaLa said...


LaLa said...

Oh man, sucks to be a teen now.

Annie said...

Frightening, isn't it. Setting young kids up for a life of wage slavery, where the bank owns their soul. I think they shouldn't be allowed to go to college til they've worked for a couple of years, learned a bit about money and what they want to do first. Then they'd really know if it is was worth it.

Oli said...

You can pay student loans off? I just assumed they stayed there, festering. That's what mine are doing.

Hedgie said...

Congratulations! Yep IT's a really bad idea to put students in this crazy amount of debt methinks.