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 Post subject: Is university worth it?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2019 3:37 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 13, 2015 3:01 pm
Posts: 993
Just looking at some of the threads on here and realising that if attending a university away from home then student debt is at least £50K. Is it worth it? I know there is the argument that they don't have to pay until they earn enough but surely that means they shouldn't aim high? How can they ever think of owning their own home with that debt to repay as they will have to earn a lot to afford a property which will put them into the repayment category? I just don't understand the whole thing and my DS is getting to the age where we need to think about it so any views/opinions would be appreciated.

Sorry if it is a stupid question but DS has no clear view of what he wants to do, so blindly going to uni to rack up that kind of debt seems insane to me.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2019 3:46 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:45 pm
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Would it help if you were to think of it as a graduate tax rather than debt? This is what is is, really. Once above the threshold they pay the same amount per month whether they owe £10K or £100K.. Have a look at Martin Lewis' thoughts on the matter.
(Whether a university education is worth it is another matter, but try & think of it without the "debt"!)


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2019 4:18 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 03, 2014 10:24 pm
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Location: Petts Wood, Bromley, Kent
I look at it that many careers that didn’t require a degree in the past now do. DNiece is about to enter the Police force and they now seem to want a degree. DNephew is a journalist that again used to be based on experience but was impossible for him to progress without a degree. Friend’s daughter is training as a midwife. None of these three 20 years ago would have needed a degree. Without them the options are get a trade like electrician, get lucky, work in retail, accountancy, care or catering (I am sure there are others) My cousin’s daughter did do an accounting apprenticeship type thing but she’s seem the graduates fast tracked and she hasn’t had the same opportunities. Whilst I think DD would make a great electrician her heart is elsewhere and a degree will open those doors. Don’t shoot the messenger. I know the world is rather bonkers right now. Perhaps with practically full employment things might swing away from the degree requirement but I am not an economist to be able to comment with any authority on that matter.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2019 5:05 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 13, 2015 3:01 pm
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Thanks for your replies. I understand your comments but I still can't get my head around it. Surely it is a debt that is counted when you are trying to get a mortgage (I have looked at MSE but really only seen about the pros and cons of parents paying off the debt, so I will check again)?

It is a crazy world: no jobs, but have to go to uni not to get one of them; banks won't lend money for mortgages as not sure people can afford it, but then said people end up spending twice the amount on rent.

Stop the world, I want to get off :lol: :(


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2019 5:09 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 1:05 pm
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Location: Reading
Student loans are paid out of salaries, so employers deduct it directly. Mortgage companies look at whether someone can afford to pay back the mortgage, so look at take home pay (which has already had the student loan repayment taken out). It isn’t seen as a debt as such.

Student loans will only be a part of why young people will struggle to afford houses tbh.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2019 5:33 pm 
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Thanks Tinkers... but it is still less take home pay so less income which means less mortgage potential. I know it is only part of the picture with property being so expensive but it is a messed up world (and was even before the B and T words even existed in politics). I am sure some of you are economists so could correct me (you are welcome to) but I blame Gordon Brown for raiding the pensions resulting in people needing a different retirement fund, i.e. second properties. How many new developments do you see that instantly have To Let signs?

I guess what will be will be and I am just fretting about the next phase of my DS's educational journey (obviously without him knowing - I don't let my worries affect him which is why I like this forum as I can air my silly thoughts and get genuine information and advice, so thank you).

BBB x


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2019 7:16 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2018 4:00 pm
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My eldest DS is 26 and has always been very focussed for a young guy. He is definitely not one to waste an ounce of energy on anything that isn't going to benefit him. He did his research and worked out that the most direct route to where he wanted to be was a degree. Went to uni, did economics degree followed by CTA (chartered tax accountant) exams paid for by graduate scheme in large firm, completed exams by age 24 and now works in a Big 5 firm. He hasn't got onto the property ladder yet but is well in the way to a deposit via ISAs etc. Yes it's been hard work but now starting to really pay off at age only 26, and he's in a far better place than he ever would have been had he not gone to uni, student loan notwithstanding.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2019 7:27 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 11:30 am
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Location: Harrow
You need to look at it in the other direction.
Start with what career you want then investigate the various ways into it, and you may be lucky and find you can get into the job you want without having to get a degree.

My DD went to university get a degree in engineering and now is in a Grad scheme in an engineering company.
Interestingly once she joined she found out the company she works at also has 2 types of apprenticeships.
Degree apprenticeships where they get a degree via day release over a 4 year period
or Standard apprenticeships where they end up with a Level 4 HNC.
the apprenticeships have their fees paid too.

The problem though is that you have to have a reasonably clear idea what you wanted to do when you left school and my DD didn't, and most jobs in the direction she wanted to take need a degree.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2019 8:07 pm 
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Let's say you did the maths and that alone was enough for you to justify not sending them to University. Automatically you've cut off career choices like medicine, dentistry, law.. They are 18 now and it's not your sole decision to make but rather a joint discussion. They may go against your concerns and look into loans or getting a job rather than have you close the door on their future.

Universities are not just about 'debt' and 'loans'. I met my life partner there, met my best friends, travelled with them, definitely the best memories I have of my 'youth' and I'm now in my late 30s with two kids.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2019 8:33 pm 
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Ok you have a great time at uni, meet people and experience things.....but in my day that didn't entail £9K a year tuition fees with no grant. My DS had to work all through uni as he only got the minimum loan, as we weren't divorced/retired/living abroad etc. He didn't have the same carefree few years that I was fortunate enough to have. It was a hard slog. So I don't think people should go to uni for the "experience". At that price they need to come out with a good degree that's going to put them in front of others without a degree ( or £40K debt).


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