Fifteen and thinking of debt

D has always wanted to be a vet. She has never wavered from this and it’s her choice to continue down that path – there is no pressure from us at all. Being a vet takes a lot of education.
On the news a week or so ago there was an item on a student who had killed themself because of the debt they had run up. I didn’t see the item – J told me about it and what D had said – and I have my guesses as to what other factors may or may not have lead to have that tragic event but what cannot be denied is student debt.

£12,000 is currently said to be the average graduation debt though this varies depending on source – especially as this is a political football. That’s for 3 years. It takes much longer to be a vet. That figure is also today’s figure. D would go to Uni in 3 years, would graduate 3 years after that. Student debt rises year on year.
I can argue either side of the fees fence and I can see the where and why this situation has come about. Back when I went to Polytechnic (remember them ?) all you had to do was be able to sign your name and you could get on a degree course (“Hello everyone, welcome to Business Studies”) but the fact is that my daughter and many other teenagers are already contemplating a sea of debt. All this “You can pay it back when ..” may seem fine to us, it may seem fine to people with credit card debt, mortgages, loans and other financial burdens, but to a child ? How would we like it ? How would we like to be told that in 3 years we would be saddled with a debt when the govt would get their pound of flesh back but you have no guarantees whatsoever ? I know that this move kept the lazy from Uni but it’s no solution is it ? Thankfully, D knows that money really isn’t the be all and end all. She knows that you do get through to the other side and she know’s that we don’t measure ourselves by what cash we do or do not have, but isn’t it a shame that before a teenager has even taken their GCSE’s that they are already looking forward to a mountain of debt and all that it will bring with it ?

6 thoughts on “Fifteen and thinking of debt

  1. I know an Irish lad whos finishing his vet studies in the UK this year. It isn’t three years Mark its five for vet training and it is very_bloody_expensive. Think 20k a year range … and I’m not sure that includes accomodation and the likes. It’s also damn competitive.

  2. Yeah but the debt is so huge that you don’t have to think about it. You only pay a tiny amount back each month and they are never gonna ‘demand’ it back suddenly. Plus you have to be earning over a certain threshold to pay anything back anyway, and as it’s paid through your salary, if D ever finds herself out of work, she stops paying installments. The interest rate is pretty good, but then when you owe £12,000, no interest rate is really ‘good’ at all.

    I owe about £14,000 or so and I just don’t even think about it, as there’s no question in my mind of paying it off or even making a dent in it. Even when I was in my last job. Now that I’m earning £250 a month, it’s not even worth holding a breath over :p

    I really don’t think it’s something which is significant enough to stop your potential career over, before it’s even started. She should go for it… it will be easier to deal with inevitable debt if she’s in a job she loves than if she’s in debt and is stuck in a job she can’t stand… Let’s face it, most of us end up in debt of some kind or another… surely it’s better to be happy and in debt than miserable and still in debt?

  3. From my own personal files, and I graduated in 2001, I’m close to 10k, and only that because my parents paid for my last year of rent so I could concentrate on work.

    However – as Bri said – it’s not something to stop a career over, as any Uni course is going to incurr large costs. Any single one. You should always try what you want to do.

    The problem for many students (and I speak from experience here) is that they often start creating large overdrafts and credit card debts as well as the student loans. Those are the real burden to them.

    Often it’s nothing sensible money management couldn’t have prevented… but when you’re 18 you generally haven’t had to worry about that too much. It’s a problem…

  4. What a way to start a life – but sadly it’s the same here in Canada as well. Many university grads have racked up a huge chunk of debt to get their degrees. Right now, a job in trades is pretty much a guarantee to get lots of work at good money. A vet would do well here, too, I’m certain. Maybe D. will have opportunities in other locales apart from the UK. Not that anyone wants to watch their child move to the other side of the world, but you never know where growth and happiness and a good life might take you…

    Canada has lots of room for educated people looking for work!

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