Student Debt Stands at £40.3bn

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Official figures released by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills show that outstanding student debt at the end of the 2011-12 financial year stood at £40.3 billion.

The report shows statistics for repayments of loans, borrower activity and loan outlays and the statistics cover students in Higher Education while living in England. The figures were taken from the financial years 2009-10 to 2011-12.

Two different kinds of student loan arrangements are covered: the mortgage-style loans that were in effect up until the academic year of 1997-8 and then the income-contingent loans that are present today. The student support system changed in 2006-7 too, as variable tuition fees and tuition fee loans were introduced.

In the year 2011-12, repayments on student loans came to more than £1.3 billion – and this included £229.5m that was repaid earlier than required. Of these early repayments, £218.6 came from income-contingent loans.

The end of the 2011-12 financial year saw total student debt standing at £40.3 billion with £39.6bn relating to income-contingent loans.

There were 3.8m borrowers at the end of 2011-12, an increase of 9% on 2010-2011, and out of these 2.5m had accounts that were liable for repayment, an increase of 11% for 2010-11.

In 2011-12, the number of borrowers receiving refunds was lower than in 2010-11. The figure in 2010-11, however, was ‘artificially high’ due to a backlog – as 2009-10 was also processed in that year.

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