Two thirds of Scots students skip meals or turn off heating to avoid debt

Students in Scotland expect to graduate with a debt of £12,500 and go to extremes to save money.

Students: Funding boost means more students for UHI.
© STV

Around a third of students would consider living at home or skipping meals to cut costs while they are at university, a poll has found.

The survey, carried out by YouGov for the Money Advice Service, said on average, students in Scotland expect to graduate with a debt of £12,500.

The figure is more than half the UK average of £23,700 — despite the fact Scottish students do not have to pay tuition fees at institutions north of the border.

The research showed that 31% of students polled would consider living at home to avoid accumulating too much debt, while 28% said they would consider skipping meals and 35% would switch off the central heating.

Over a quarter (26%) would avoid buying course textbooks and 18% said they would consider trying to sell off valuable items to raise money if they had too.

For Scottish students, the most common debt taken on during their university years is a student loan, with 69% of students and graduates having taken out at least one loan.

More than a quarter (28%) are borrowing money from family members, according to the survey, while 31% have an overdraft and 15% use credit cards.

The research said that almost half (47%) of students are worried about the levels of debt they will leave university with, and 32% of graduate respondents said they wish they had managed their money more carefully while studying.

However, the Money Advice Service said it is possible to control debt with careful money management and planning.

The service, which aims to help students make the most of their money, said it has a range of tools to aid budgeting, including a Cutback Calculator and Money Stretcher, both of which can be found online at moneyadviceservice.org.uk.

Karen Broughton, a director at the Monday Advice Service, said: "Debt is now a normal part of university life, but with careful management it needn't be a worry for current or prospective students.

"Whether living at home or moving away to study, students have to make major choices about budgeting and banking.It's vital to get the right advice before taking on debt and make plans to get a grip on money matters. Otherwise uncontrollable debts can become very expensive to pay off long after graduation.

"To maximise their income as much as possible, we urge students to take advantage of the handy tools on our website — such as budget planners and calculators like our Money Stretcher and Cutback Calculator which can quickly highlight where you can make everyday savings."

Phil Davis, chairman of the National Association of Student Money Advisers, said: "It's really important that students are fully aware of all options for funding available to them, including student loans, to ensure they maximise their income during study.

"Funding from the Student Loans Company is preferable to other forms of credit because of the flexible repayment terms, which take account of personal circumstances.

"Maximising income is important, but it is equally important for students to develop their financial capability — many universities offer confidential money advice which can range from budgeting tips, to managing debts."

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check. That e-mail's already in our system. Please try again.
ShowHide
Forgot password?
This field is required. At least 6 characters please. Did you enter your details correctly?
If you've forgotten your details then use the 'Forgot password?' link.
Need to reset your password?

We'll send a link to reset your password to

We've sent you details on how to reset your password

Please check your email and follow the instructions.

Forgotten your email address?

Have you forgotten the email address that you previously joined with? Don't worry, by emailing enquiries@stv.tv we can help.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
At least 6 characters please
ShowHide
This field is required. At least 6 characters please.
You have to be 16 or over to join
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date
Type your full postcode and select your address This field is required. It doesn't look like you've entered a valid postcode. Can't find your address? Confirm the details you've given us are correct by clicking here

By continuing you agree to our Terms of Use, including our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy. Any issues contact us.

Upload Profile Picture

Please make sure your image is under 2mb in size and a valid JPG, PNG or GIF.

Are you sure?

Unfortunately, you'll be unable to access our premium content. We’ll be sorry to see you go, but if you change your mind you can rejoin us at any time.

Please verify your STV account

Please verify your STV account using the email we sent you. If you have lost the email, we can send you another one, just click the button below.

Thanks

We've sent you a new verification email.
Please check your email and follow the instructions to verify your account.

Welcome to STV
Thanks for joining us.

Oops!

Sorry, you must be at least 12 years old to place a vote for your Real Hero.

Please review our Voting Terms of Use for more information.

Oops!

Sorry! It seems that you are using a browser that is incompatible with our voting service.

To register your vote please copy the below URL in to your regular mobile browser. We recommend Google Chrome, or Safari.

http://shows.stv.tv/real-heroes/voting

Oops!

Sorry, you seem to have already voted in this category.

Thanks for voting

Now share your vote with friends on your social network

Share on twitter Share on facebook

Cast your vote

Please register or sign in to continue.

Cast your vote

This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date

Cast your vote

Please fill out this form to cast your vote. As you are under 16 years old you will not create an STV account. Why do we need these details?

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check.
Location This field is required.
Parental Consent This field is required.

That's you. All that's left is to click the 'Submit Vote' button below. By doing so, you confirm that you and your parent or guardian have read and accept our Voting Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Cookie policy, and that the details you have entered are correct. We'll look after them as carefully as if they were our own.