Flickr: Springer Financial Advisors

Debt-related stress has a major effect on student wellbeing at University

According to a recent survey, three-quarters of university students who receive a maintenance loan feel stressed about the amount of debt they accumulate while studying.

The survey, conducted by Intelligent Environments, a financial technology company, found that 39 per cent of students cannot even afford their weekly food shop.

In addition, over a quarter of students admitted to missing rent payments, with 58 per cent of students completely running out of money before their next payment is due. Whilst, one in seven students surveyed have been chased by debt collectors.

This study comes at a time when there has been an increasing focus on student loans and student spending patterns. In a recent article by the Telegraph, it was claimed that students allegedly ‘waste’ 30 per cent of their loans on shopping and drinking.

Whereas, according to Intelligent Environment’s report, debt-stress has a major effect on student’s relationships, exam results and ability to enjoy university life.

When asked how she felt about her student loan and post-university debt prospects, Amy Samson a third-year Chemistry student said: “I have the mindset that I will just forever be in my overdraft. I have money from parents but it’s not enough when your loan doesn’t even cover your rent.”

According to Iyanu Ilupeju, a third-year Law student: “If you are trying to live off just your maintenance loan then you will not have money – it is just not enough.”

She added: “Obviously, sometimes you spend money on clothes and other unnecessary things to make yourself feel better which makes the slow decline into the overdraft inevitable. But most of my money goes on food”

When asked about the effects of money worries on wellbeing, Alex Velizerova a third-year Law and Business student said: “I’m always worried I’ll run out of money; and because I’m not used to making it on my own I’m worried I’ll have issues financing myself and my lifestyle when I finish uni.”

The Boar recently conducted its own survey to see what Warwick students spent their maintenance loans on and found that of the 234 students surveyed, 77.1% said their loan is spent on rent. Aside from rent, 60% stated that food and toiletries was their biggest spend.


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