'There are more graduates than well-paid jobs'

August 13, 2004

When Emma Philpotts completed her media production degree at Sunderland University last year she was £11,000 in debt.

Her £12,000-a-year job with a local radio station in East Anglia is above the minimum earnings limit, and she makes repayments of £15 a month.

But when Ms Philpotts, 22, received a statement from the Student Loans Company, she noticed that since last September she has been charged £25 a month in interest.

Before the Government raised the interest rate on student loans from 1.3 per cent to 3.1 per cent in line with inflation, her monthly payments exceeded the interest rate and made small inroads into her overall debt.

"Now, even though I'm making monthly payments, I'm not paying off the loan," Ms Philpotts told The Times Higher .

"The Government says that the big picture is that I've got a degree and therefore I'll get a well-paid job, but I think it's unfair to assume that.

"There are more people with degrees than well-paid jobs, and the way things stand I can't see my pay going up substantially for a good few years.

"There have been reports, too, that some women may not even pay back their student debt before they retire."

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