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Graduate debt falls

14 Aug 2007

Graduate debt falls Graduate debt has fallen for the first time in six years, a survey indicates.

An annual report from NatWest shows that upon leaving university graduates owe, on average, £12,363.

That is a drop of six per cent compared with 2006.

At the same time the proportion of students leaving university with debts of over £10,000 has dropped by eight per cent to 54 per cent of students.

The survey also revealed that 72 per cent of new entrants to university expect to leave with a greater level of debt than their predecessors.

Mark Worthington, head of student and graduate banking at NatWest, said: "New students seem to be much more aware about the financial realities of university and are trying to prepare themselves accordingly.

"Despite the anticipated cost of university continuing to rise, students are taking steps to supplement income and budget their spending and it is encouraging to see that the graduate debt figure is actually down for the first time in six years."

More than 1,350 graduates, 1,100 students and 1,000 sixth-formers were questioned for the survey.

The news comes as separate research from uSwitch.com found that student debt has risen by 167 per cent in the past ten years, forcing nearly one in ten students to consider going bankrupt.

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