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Will your university debt spill into middle age?

Insolvency specialists Wilson Andrews are warning Scottish students to plan how they will repay university debt as soon as possible after graduating, to avoid it 'spilling' into middle age.

The comments follow the results of a survey of 2,000 UK adults in full-time education, 218 of whom were Scottish. The survey found that most (73% of) Scottish students will finish university with some debt - 39% with over £10,000 of debt.

15% of students said they couldn't afford their monthly costs, while 42% said money was tight and that they just about managed to get by.

University is still a fantastic opportunity to increase your earning potential and career prospects in later life - but be wary of repaying debt too slowly. For example, say you had a credit card balance of £3,000 when you left university. If you only made the minimum payments, you could easily be paying it off by the time you're in your 40s.

A report in The Telegraph recently highlighted that eight in 10 people over the age of 30 in the UK have some kind of debt - and that doesn't even include mortgages. It's easy to see how debt from those 'young adult' years can spill over into middle age if it isn't repaid quickly enough.

A spokesperson for Wilson Andrews commented:

"Consider that as you get older, you'll probably have other things you want to spend your money on - like buying property and furnishing that property, perhaps starting your own business, or getting the car you've always wanted. Overpaying debts sooner will help you to clear them before you reach your 40s.

"If you are struggling with debt while at university, find out whether you are eligible for any financial help. There are sometimes emergency funds and bursaries available for students who are in hardship. Ask your University for further details of their own bursaries or grants.

"If you did find you had debt problems after university, all is not lost - there are professional companies that can help you with tailored debt help and advice."