A Fee I Didn’t Sign Up For

I was rather shocked when I heard of the government plans to charge a fine on student loads paid before a 30 year period has ended.

Surely this would have had to be part of my contract with the Student Loans Company to be effective?

Even if it did not effect me, but future generations (with higher student debts) then it’s still sickening. To date I believe I have paid off £880 of my debt. It now stands at over £19,500. This will take me the best part of two decades to pay off – unless I occasionally choose to volunteer an extra payment or two.

I was always sensible at uni. I worked when I could, spent my spare time doing work experience and guaranteed myself a job before I graduated. I got myself out of my overdraft and left myself with just the loan to pay off. A noticeable proportion of what I earn now is deducted toward this (plus tax, but that effects all of us so I deal with it!). Why should I have to pay a fine as well as the interest?

What shocks me is that this hasn’t properly warranted headlines until the news that it’s probably not going to take effect (phew) and it’s due to the Conservatives deciding that this plan (attributed to the Lib Dems) is unnecessary.

Seems a bit like pro-Tory spin to me…

What do you make of the news?

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One comment

  1. nemethsphere · February 17, 2012

    I always wondered if there was an ‘early repayment’ charge with student loans. I’m both reassured that it doesn’t already exist, and also disconcerted that they were trying to bring it in, especially as a ‘fine’, which implies you’re doing something wrong!

    When I took on my PhD, my ambitious plans were to save up a large chunk of the funding, in order to pay off the student loan in one lump sum, and become enviably debt-free. Unfortunately, though I’ve learned the harsh realities of life a little slower than most of my contemporaries, it turns out that living costs are not awarded so that I can selfishly keep my bank balance mounting up, but because living does indeed cost. It is still my intention to make the odd overpayment, however, in an attempt to put the brakes on the accruing interest. One of the key issues surrounding the hike in tuition fees is not only the amount of money future generations of student will have to repay, but how long the debt is hanging over your head. By charging a fine, it’s almost like having to pay a premium for the ‘privilege’ of not having one less major thing to worry about in a life which is becoming increasingly stressful for everyone. Even paying off library fines leaves a bitter taste in my mouth, even though I only have myself to blame. Ah well, that’s my two-penneth*.

    *subject to change, due to inflation.

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