Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.

Spend & Save

Graduates feel growing burden of student loans

Graduates can expect to take an average of 11 years to clear their student debt, according to an independent comparison website.

USwitch.com has also warned that the excessive costs of university are forcing graduates to put off making any big decisions, such as starting a family or getting married.

Graduates need to be earning more than £15,000 a year before their student loan repayments start, but many are finding that they are unable secure even an entry-level position.

USwitch.com added that many students feel that don't know enough paying back their loans, with one in five falsely believing that their loan is interest free. Student loans begin accruing interest from the date they're paid out.

"It is worrying that students are going to university blind to the financial implications. Higher fees and lack of job prospects may be out of your control, but if university is right for you it's more important than ever that you are as financially prepared as possible," said Michael Ossei, a personal finance expert at uSwitch.com.

With fees rising up to £9,000 in 2012, many students will be unable to fund their way through university without a loan.