How Long does it take to Pay Back a Student Loan?

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Obviously one of the biggest things to consider when thinking about university is the costs involved, as they are significant.

The amount of time it will take graduates to pay back their debt, depends on how much they took out in the first place, and how much they go on to earn after university.

A typical student on a three-year course (outside of London) will graduate with around £35,000 - £40,000 of student loan. This loan accrues interest; in England for example this is 5.5%.

After graduation, yearly repayments are set at 9% of whatever is earned above £21,000, regardless of the total loan amount.

For example, if a graduate earns:

  • Below £21,000: they won’t have to pay back anything
  • £25,000 a year: they will repay £360 per year, £30 per month. This is the same however much was borrowed.
  • £30,000 a year: they will repay £804 per year, £67 per month. Again, this is the same however much was borrowed.

Any outstanding student debt is written off after 30 years, even if nothing has been paid back during that time (because the borrower wasn’t working or was earning below £21,000).

In fact, studies have estimated that over 70% of graduates won’t have paid their full loan back after 30 years.

Read more:

How much is a student loan? 

How long should work experience be?

How much do graduates earn?