The reality of student loans – students’ experiences

by Rebecca Weinberg

A staggering £533.6 million worth of loans were authorised by SAAS in 2018 – 2019, according to a report by Audit Scotland.

As 505,800 individuals still had outstanding debt in April 2019, UWS News spoke to various students across higher education institutions to figure out students’ opinions on this hot topic.

Elysia Holley-Song, 21, is a journalism student at Robert Gordon University. Relaying her student loan experience, she said: “I took out a student loan when I was 18, plus another personal loan last year in order to pay for university and accommodation.

“I took out student loans because I come from a family that survives on just above the breadline, and if I didn’t take them out there was no way of me being able to attend university. I also need to work 25+ hours a week in order to ensure that all bills get paid on time, as the money only just covers my rent.

“Paying back loans is a really big concern for me and I’ve spent many days crying and losing sleep over it.”

21-year old Aaron McIndoe attends Herriot Watt University. Aaron said: “Without my student loan, I wouldn’t be able to afford basic amenities, as well as a social life.”

Aaron doesn’t worry about repaying his loan if rates stay the same. “However, the idea of it following me for all of my life is terrifying”.

Jazz Lawless, 21, is a student at the University of the West of Scotland. She said: “I decided against taking out a loan, because I didn’t want to worry about paying back large sums of money throughout the remainder of my life. The way I see it is: the more student loans you need to take out, the more stress you will experience later in life when you need to pay back the money.”

For an informed opinion on this topic, click here to read an interview with the Scottish representative of the National Association of Student Money Advisers (NASMA).

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