Students could face having to repay their loans earlier than expected under plans being considered by the government.
The repayment threshold at which students should start repaying their student loans currently stands at £27,000. But this could be lowered to £23,000 for future university students.
The National Union of Students has criticised the idea and called the idea ‘simply astounding.’ Its vice-president for higher education Hillary Gyebi-Ababio said: “We would be totally opposed to any plans on reducing the salary repayment threshold for student loans.
Like the Government’s decision to increase National Insurance contributions, this burden targets people earning lower incomes – after eighteen months of such hardship, and with the looming hike in energy prices set to hit millions of the most vulnerable this winter, the injustice is simply astounding.Hillary Gyebi-Ababio
The change in repayments would leave students having to pay a further £400 a year.
What do you think?
A recent poll on UNIfied’s Instagram found that 88% of people did not agree with the repayment threshold being lowered.
However, former CCCU student Rebecca Whiting said she did not feel the change would have a huge impact.
Commenting on UNIfied’s Instagram, the English teacher from outer London said: “I left uni four years ago and I literally don’t even notice it come out of my monthly salary. If you compare to other monthly spendings, £50 is roughly what?”
The 2018 graduate added, “When you think of how much you pay in tax/pension it is a small sum.”
Unified’s poll also revealed that just over half of the students who voted are worried about repaying their student loan.
Robert Halfon, the Conservative MP for Harlow and chair of the Commons education committee, told The Guardian: “In the short term if they are going to do this they need to lower interest rates that students have to pay. The interest rates are the things that are the real killer.”
He added: “There needs to be a proper contract between students and universities. We should also be trying to wean students off just taking up loans and get them doing degree apprenticeships where they earn as they learn and get a proper skilled job at the end.”