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University students face increased costs

Degrees could cost £23,000 claims new report

A record number of students will start university this autumn – but they face rising costs and the prospect of large debts according to the latest Push Student Debt Survey.

Students holding books walking to class

Full-time students do not count as residents

The Push Student Debt Survey of over 2,000 students reported that students were borrowing on average more than £5,000 per year, with this figure continuing to rise.

Students in England were running up the highest level of debt with an average of £5,271 pounds. Scotland, where Scottish and non-UK EU residents do not pay tuition fees, had the lowest debt levels at £2,194 per year.

Choosing a Best Buy student account is key

Choosing the right student current account can help you manage your money and stay in control. Our Best Buy reviews compare undergraduate accounts and the overdraft limits each bank offers for the 2009-10 academic year. We also show the charges they make if you go beyond your limit.

Which? researcher, Ian Robinson says: ‘Don’t be swayed by free gifts and dubious perks – look carefully at what’s on offer from each bank and then decide which one is best for you. You might not need an overdraft straightaway, but by your second year you’ll be grateful for some extra leeway to deal with unexpected costs and up-front demands’.

The highest interest-free overdraft on offer is from Halifax, at £3000, followed by Royal Bank of Scotland at £2,750 and Barclays at £2,000. 

Incentives for joining range from £50 cash from Abbey to £130 worth of railcards from NatWest. There are also offers on mobile broadband, travel insurance and cinema tickets. 

For more details, see the Which? guide to student bank accounts or listen to the latest Which? Money podcast.


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