Nieuws - 16 augustus 2012

Almost 50 percent of students have debts

'At the end of my money I always have a little bit of month over,' is a well-known saying by Loesje, the creator of countless eye-catching one-liners.

And the same applies to nearly half of all students, reveals a study by the National Institute for Family Finance Information (Nibud). Every month 47 percent have difficulty making ends meet. They need a loan from DUO, the government agency that facilitates education, or have to borrow from their parents.
Students living in the family home have a monthly income averaging 535 euros and students living elsewhere have 915 euros. Student grants and loans account for most of this income. But it costs more than this to study: students living at home spend on average 603 euros a month and other students, 1093 euros.
Many students say they can't manage if they don't borrow money from DUO. Almost half of all students are indebted to DUO. Each month they borrow an average of 365 euros. A student who borrows that sum consistently for four years will accumulate a debt, excluding interest, of no less than 17,500 euros. In January 2012, the average debt of students who finished their courses in 2009 was 14,450 euros.
Mum and dad
Parents often help out financially. Six in ten students say they borrow money from their father or mother. Often, this involves a set amount per month: on average 191 euros, but parents are also called upon to pay specific costs, chiefly tuition fees, healthcare costs and study books.
As a rule, students are not familiar with the DUO's loan conditions, reports Nibud. They do not know, for example, that the loan does not accumulate interest immediately.  Nonetheless, over two-thirds feel that their own loan habits are very responsible, and half of students with a loan are not worried about whether they will be able to pay back their debt. What they do say, however, is that their peers are too blasé about loans and do not sufficiently grasp the long-term financial consequences of having student debt.