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The impact of student loan debts on mental health

Joining university means taking on different challenges, meeting new people, being more independent and learning how to manage money properly.

Studies have proven that money is one of the main stressors that UK learners currently face, which is also the main reason for first-year student dropouts. Furthermore, for international students or those from a disadvantaged background, money can be a more important issue. In fact, many UK students know that when they finish their university course, they will have debts of about £50K. international undergraduates expect more as their tuition fees can be from £10,000 to £40,000 a year.

With this in mind, the analysis done by the Institute for Fiscal Studies shows that UK students leave university with the highest student debts in the world, due to the institution tuition fees and the replacement of maintenance grants with loans.

According to research, many UK students are worried about their university loan debt to such an extent that it is affecting their mental health. In fact, financial stress is related to anxiety and depression and is one of the many reasons why students seek advice from university mental health advisors.

Furthermore, we are going to discuss our best tips for students to cope with financial issues and maintain good mental health.

  • Always have a budget plan – Although it can seem a tedious activity, making a budget plan will help you to keep an overview of your income and expenses. Also, you can use this plan as a guide to assist you in avoiding spending money on something you can’t afford to buy.
  • Seek for support – If you feel overwhelmed by financial issues and university life, seek help. At university, you’ll be able to get all the support you need, receiving useful guides and advice. Also, remember that your family is always there to help you!
  • Search for a part-time job – If you are spending too much and you don’t have an income, try to find a part-time job. This can be an arduous task during your holidays or term time, but it can be very useful in difficult financial situations. However, remember that you’re still at university and your studies are still your main priority. So try to find a balance between work and study life.
  • Be on the lookout for discounts – As you’re a student, discounts will be easy to find: in shops, online and even when you’re eating in a restaurant. By getting an NUS: Totum Card, you will benefit from more than 42,000 discounts in over 130 countries. Also, did you realise that there are websites offering amazing deals? But before purchasing anything, make sure you really need them.
  • Choose your course materials smartly – Books and photocopies can seem small expenses, but they can begin to stack up over time. So, try to make use of the library as much as possible and avoid purchasing books. If you don’t find the title you want, look for second-hand books or eBooks – they are nearly always cheaper than their print counterparts. Also, don’t forget that printing in black and white and on both sides can help you save money!
  • Go to cheap events – Sometimes university social life can become quite expensive; however, by joining university events, you can have fun without spending too much. Also, cinemas and restaurants offer 2-for-1 deals once a week – don’t miss them!

University tuition fees and student loan debts can be very harmful to student mental health. According to statistics, more and more students in the UK are suffering from it. So, we’ve outlined several tips to help learners deal with university financial problems.


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