Category Archives: Student Debt

Paying back student loan a hard road – Jack Tame. 

I was one of the lucky ones and I still owed 30 grand.

Sure, I’ll concede some of my student loan could be blamed on my average discipline. I probably didn’t need so many scone-and-coffees or nights out. But though I worked part time while studying at university, at $8000 a year for tuition, it took me years to pay off my debt.

Still, I had it easy compared to my siblings. My three brothers and sisters all studied at university away from home, and to whatever their undergraduate degrees cost was added the expense of dorm halls and flats.

Mum and Dad were incredibly generous, but the total expense for the four Tame children to live and study at university would border on $250,000. Some of my friends have individually racked up six-figure student loans.

It used to be you went to university if you had the marks and smarts.

Neither of my parents paid for university tuition, and my mum received a stipend to study teaching in the early 1980s.

Now, even if you excel in high school, university students and their families face potential decades of debt.

I’m 30, and between tuition and property prices, it’s easy to resent the ease with which baby boomers cruised by the financial impasses of my generation.

That is, of course, unless Mum and Dad are able to come to the rescue.

But what percentage of Kiwi families can comfortably afford to shell out $30,000 for their child’s undergraduate degree?

What percentage can afford to fund multiple children through university?

Baby boomers might have bought cheap houses and attended uni for free, but I’d argue most of them couldn’t comfortably afford to help their children do the same thing. Successful, educated, debt-free kids are status symbols in our unequal society.

I cleared my student loan. I don’t resent having to pay for university. But then I was one of lucky ones.

An awful lot of Kiwis have to get a long way behind for the chance to get ahead.

NZ Herald

Germany scraps tuition fees after mass student protests cause shift in public opinion. 

After experimenting with tuition fees, all the federal German states have been persuaded to reverse their decision. In the UK and US, there is no political will to change the policies which are blighting whole generations. The only way forward is to copy German protest movements.

The world’s fourth largest economy, Germany, has abolished all higher education tuition fees after flirting with the system for a few years. The contrast could not be greater with both the United States and the United Kingdom, which has largely aped the US model with potentially disastrous results.

In the US, tuition costs have risen 500% since 1985 and those who borrowed for a bachelor’s degree granted in 2012 owe an average of US$29,400. Some 40 million Americans are paying back US$1.2 trillion in outstanding student debt. US senator Elizabeth Warren, who is campaigning to lower fees, says the burden is stopping young Americans from buying homes and cars, or starting small businesses. Meanwhile, existing federal financial aid to students is poorly targeted, with half of federal tuition tax credits going to the wealthiest 20%. Economy Watch