From learning to earning: student debt and practical solutions

by Pmcindoe - Date: 2007-09-07 - Word Count: 492 Share This!

Issues such as what course to study, where to study and whether to stay at home are central to any would-be-student's concerns. But the latter of these issues simply isn't an option for many students, unless they are lucky enough to live within commuting distance of their university of choice. Also, many see moving into halls and meeting new people as being an integral part of student life. So, even before university life has begun, there are real financial obligations that must be met.

Furthermore, there is now more flexibility in terms of what universities can charge for tuition fees, meaning students can pay anything up to £3000 per year in fees, almost three times the amount of only a few years ago; so in short, studying is a very pricey venture and for many students debt is a simple fact of life that has to be faced and managed accordingly.

It's also worth noting that even after graduation, that lucrative dream job may not - and frequently does not - happen immediately. With this in mind, it's worth perhaps looking at the numerous debt solutions that are out there, to help stave off the creditors and manage the debt sensibly, sooner rather than later. It probably goes without saying that the last thing that is needed is to go down the bankruptcy route.

Before bringing in any external parties to help manage the debt, there are small steps that can be taken to help alleviate the burden of debt. Firstly, check all the interest rates on those maxed-out credit cards, as the rates may not be as favourable as they could be. Many credit cards offer 0% interest on balance transfers for anything up to a year; so a considerable amount of money could be saved by doing very little.

There are also graduate loans available at most banks, tailored specifically for recent graduates. These are becoming an increasingly popular method of debt-consolidation for graduates and are a much easier way of managing the debt. Once these options are explored and there are still clear, seemingly insurmountable financial hurdles, it may be worth looking for help externally.

A debt management company can be used to help administer the debt and act as the middle-man with the creditors. They will negotiate an affordable set monthly payment and even collect the money themselves and distribute accordingly amongst the creditors. Alternatively, there is an IVA (individual voluntary agreement), whereby a formal plan is drawn up with creditors to make reduced payments towards the total debt, and after 5 years a percentage of what is owed is paid and the debt can be considered as settled.

With rising university fees and increased living costs, debt is a simple fact of life that must be faced for many students. It's how this debt is managed that will be key to financial security for many years after graduation.

Paul McIndoe is an online freelance journalist from Scotland. His hobbies include travelling and hiking.

Related Tags: bankruptcy, debt management, debt solutions, student debt, graduate loans, burden of debt

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