£4billion of student loan debt may be lost forever
Almost £1trillion will be owed to the taxpayer in student loans by 2045, according to latest figures.
The student loan book is worth £70billion this year. It is expected to hit £80bn next year and continue rising steadily to £330bn in the next 30 years, or close to £1trillion with inflation.
Meanwhile, it is estimated that £4bn in unpaid loans may never be recovered from graduates who have already fallen off the radar.
A total of 270,746 'ghost' graduates have had no tax, employment or benefit records for at least three months and have not replied to the Student Loans Company’s requests to confirm how they are supporting themselves.
More than 75,000 of them have debt topping £20,000 – while 208 owe more than £50,000.
The average student debt to the Government on graduation has been around £25,000 but that is now soaring – sparking fears more and more will be unwilling or unable to repay the cash.
Those finishing university this year – the first to pay the higher £9,000 tuition fees – owe an average £44,000.
And the number of graduates not yet earning the £21,000 minimum to start repaying a loan is up from 480,000 to 523,000 in a year
Jonathan Isaby of the TaxPayers’ Alliance said: “It’s crucial the Student Loans Company gets a grip on its processes and universities do more to ensure that students are serious about study as opposed to picking up cheap loans which they don’t intend to pay back.”
The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills said: “We are working with SLC to track anybody who should be paying and put arrangements in place for them to repay their loans.”
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