Student debt and mental health

Are students more at risk of mental illness? Well, according to a new study, they are.

The Centre for Global Higher Education, which published the report, suggests that young adults who leave university with a high amount of student debt are more likely to suffer from mental and physical health problems.

The research also looks at the impact debt has on long-term finances and homeownership, which could also play a part in reduced mental wellbeing.

It is said that student debt – often exceeding £50,000 – is a lifelong burden. This is because the interest accrues quicker than the debtor can pay it off.

The researchers said this can harm an adult in many ways. For example, they may be less likely to take risks and launch an entrepreneurial business.

Other areas include owning your own home – a dream which many young people aspire to.

“The academic literature unanimously finds that having student loan debt is linked negatively to home ownership, including owning lower-value properties. Student loan debt is likely to delay homeownership, too,” the authors said.

Co-author professor Claire Callender added: “The number of students relying on student loans to pay for their higher education is constantly rising, as is the amount they borrow. Yet we know little about the long-term consequences of this for society and individuals.

“What we do know from current research is concerning. Student loan debt seems to have a harmful effect on many aspects of graduates’ lives once they leave higher education.”

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