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Student loans double to £500m in 10 years

Student loans double


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The amount given in loans to Scottish students has more than doubled in 10 years, according to new figures.

Audit Scotland said students borrowed more than £500m from the Student Loan company in 2018-19, compared with £187m a decade earlier.

Students from the most deprived areas typically borrowed more than those who were from the least deprived areas.

Scottish students receive free university tuition but can borrow money towards their living expenses.

According to Audit Scotland, in 2008-9 the average loan to each Scottish student was £2,420, but by 2018-19 it had reached £5,300.

Repayment terms

The biggest rise took place between 2012-13 and 2013-14, when the average loan went up from £3,110 to £5,020.

The report said the increase in the average loan over the past three years had been “negligible”.

It also noted that students from the most deprived areas tended to borrow more than those from less deprived areas.

Audit Scotland said the average amount being borrowed from those from the most deprived areas was £5,800 – compared with £4,960 for the least deprived.

Although students can borrow money towards the cost of living, the terms of the repayment are different to commercial loans.

Students normally repay the loans by paying 9% of their annual income above £18,935. The more someone earns, the more they pay.

The Scottish government has committed to raising the repayment threshold to £25,000 by April 2021.