05.07.2023 | 3 minutes estimated reading time | Print this article

Additional cost of learning crisis revealed | Student debt warning

Additional cost of learning crisis revealed

29% of graduates leave uni with debts of £5-10,000 on top of student loans


Students face a period of almost 20 weeks (4.59 months) on average of having to tread water before finding their first full-time job after university, with more than a quarter (29%) graduating with debts of between £5,000 and £10,000 on top of their student loans they will be paying off for the next 30 years.

Indeed, while almost one in eight (12%) secure their first permanent role before graduating, more than one in six (17%) can take six to 12 months to secure their first full-time role, and the average additional debt run up beyond student loans is £5,536.86, with graduates from Cardiff owing the most (£8,784.03) in additional sums ahead of those from Plymouth (£6,463.72), Bristol (£6,193.57), Belfast (£6,167.11) and London (£5,815.30).

The cost of living crisis is putting pressure on family finances and the bank of mum and dad, with 28% of graduates admitting they were more in control of their finances pre-pandemic compared to now, according to Raisin, while more than half (56%) are open to learning more about their finances.

It is through our friends and family (25%) or at school (25%) that we first learn about financial matters, with 83% of us getting our first bank account aged 18 or under. But, as we get greater experience in managing our financial affairs (84%), using debit (84%) and credit cards (56%) etc, we learn, with 46% admitting our financial knowledge has improved since our university days.

On average, we have 2.37 debit cards and 3.18 credit cards, with those at the youngest end of the spectrum (16-24-year-olds) averaging 2.96 debit cards, 3.77 credit cards and 4.27 pre-paid cards – they are also more likely to ask a partner (31%) for advice about their finances than engage a financial advisor (28%) although 32% have failed to build their knowledge of their finances.

Discussing the research, Kevin Mountford co-founder or Raisin UK, commented: “It is important to develop good financial habits early on, particularly for young people who wish to achieve financial independence and not rely on their parents. This is especially crucial when preparing for university, where managing finances in the real world becomes a necessity. Budgeting is a key aspect of financial management, and there are many tools and free financial planning apps available – some offered by online banks – that can help parents and students manage their money effectively.

“It is also important to maximise student loans and any funds already saved for university. By splitting and saving this money, it is possible to earn further interest through high-interest accounts that offer easy access or are fixed for 6 or 9 months. With a little savvy saving, it is possible to earn an extra £200 or more.”