A hardship fund for destitute teachers is facing more and more requests for money from new graduates entering the profession.
Student loans have been blamed for the sudden upsurge in cries for help received by the Teachers' Benevolent Fund.
Hywel Vaughan, chairman of the fund, was alarmed to hear the case being made for impoverished newly qualified teachers at the TBF's latest national council meeting.
"Student loans have resulted in a large increase in applications from young teachers entering the profession," said Mr Vaughan. "We heard the case of a young mother who had a debt of Pounds 5,000 and she was just starting her new job. It turned out that a large part of this was the student loan she owed. It is a consequence of the student loans which I think the Government has not considered. How do young people get a deposit on a flat for rent or to purchase if they have got these tremendous debts?" Mr Vaughan said the TBF offers crisis grants and cannot repay such large debts for the graduates. It helps around 1,200 people a year and was set up 100 years before student loans were introduced, with the aim of helping teachers and their dependents when they fell on hard times through illness, job loss or family break-up.
"If there is hardship resulting from a loan, we try to put down a month's deposit on a flat when they start teaching or help buy their first car so they can get to work," said Mr Vaughan.
"A lot of it is the utility bills which have built up. I am sure there will be an increasing problem and we are worried it will increase demand on the fund," he said.
"We have to cut our assistance to what we can afford but we do not turn anybody away who is a genuine hardship case."
Fund welfare secretary Judith Haines added: "The original view was that we used to help only older people. We still help them, of course, but there are a lot more applications from younger teachers."