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Lessons to be learned

The Government is encouraging more young people to go on to higher education and making them pay for tuition fees on top of living expenses. This means that the average student leaves college or university with a 12,609 millstone of debt around their neck.

As long as owing such big amounts is the norm, people will hardly be encouraged to save for items they cannot readily afford and the problem will spiral out of control.

According to reports, lenders need to look abroad to expand their businesses as the UK market has reached saturation report. Surely this is an irresponsible attitude? What lenders should be doing is educating borrowers about managing and repaying debt.

Encouraging people to repay loans as quickly as possible without compounding the problem should be high on the Government’s and lenders’ agenda. Time and again when lecturing in finance at higher education establishments, I see students whose grasp on budgeting and financial planning is flaky, to say the least.

If we are to avoid a national financial timebomb, we need to put managing money on school timetables from as young an age as possible to ensure the next generation adopts a mature and responsible attitude to money.

Caroline Anstee

Co-director, Elements,

Wakefield, West Yorkshire

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