Nearly 1.8 Million Student Loan Borrowers in UK Owe Over £50k

United Kingdom Europe Higher Education News Statistics International Studies by Erudera News Jul 08, 2024

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New data reveal that nearly 1.8 million people in the United Kingdom owe at least £50,000 in student debt.

According to the Student Loans Company (SLC) data obtained by BBC News, the debt of around 61,000 people has reached over £100,000. Another 50 individuals in the country are in £200,000 of student debt.

Statistics Publication, a report by Student Loans Company (SLC) and the Department of Education, unveiled that the average debt held by student loan borrowers in England was under £45,000 when they started repaying and has now increased to £48,470.

Data released after a Freedom of Information (FOI) request indicate that around 2.8 million people in England have finished a student loan repayment, Erudera.com reports.

“The number of borrowers (who were liable to repay and) who were in live employment and made a repayment in financial year 2023/24 was 2.8 million, an increase on the end-April position in 2023 of 2.5 million (+ 12.7 percent). As a percentage of all those liable to repay this represents 39.4 percent, slightly higher than the 36.9 percent reported in the previous year,” the report points out.

The report “Student Loans in England: Financial Year 2023/24” provides data on student loans and borrower activities for the Student Loans Company (SLC) ’s England-based customers, including EU students studying in England.

It shows that the Income Contingent Repayment (ICR) Student Loan balance reached £236.2 billion in 2023/24. The total higher education loan balance in the 2023/24 academic year rose from £54.4 billion in the financial year 2013/14.

“When comparing this figure to the 2022/23 year-end total of £205.6 billion, there has been an increase of 14.9 percent (£30.6 billion). This increase is in line with those noted in previous financial years," the report adds.

The same notes that the higher education loan balance of EU borrowers has increased yearly, from £0.7 billion in the 2013/14 academic year to £5.5 billion in 2023/24, which is 9.2 percent up. In other words, it is £0.5 billion more than the figure of £5.0 billion in 2022/23.

The government explains that the Income Contingent Repayment (ICR) Loan, also known as ICR Student Loan, is 9.0 percent of income above the repayment threshold.

In the United Kingdom, student loans usually include a loan for tuition fees and a maintenance loan for living expenses. In 2024, students in England who live in the country or outside London and not with their parents will be eligible for up to £10,227 in maintenance loans annually.

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