Graduates in the UK are now leaving university with additional non-student loan debts worth £3,770 ($4,890) — an increase of £209 since 2019, research suggests.
One in 10 grads even have additional debts over £7,000, and nearly half (47%) said that the reason for their borrowing is that they had ran out of their student loan too quickly, MoneySuperMarket found.
Groceries were the main expense former students needed help covering, with 62% borrowing money for this reason.
However, course equipment was a close second, with more than half (51%) of former students needing help with this expense, while nearly two in five (39%) couldn’t cover their rent alone.
However, more than a third also admitted to borrowing money to spend on takeaways (37%) and alcohol (36%).
Because of this, two thirds (67%) of graduates are worried about their finances, and one in five (20%) consider themselves “extremely worried”.
In fact, two in five (42%) admitted to being more worried about their finances now than when they were at university.
The “bank of mum and dad” remains the most popular lender, with nearly two thirds (60%) of graduates relying on parental financial support.
Graduates that borrowed from their parents loaned about £3,254, the data shows.
Nearly a quarter (24%) of graduates went into their overdraft, while 22% used a payday loan, while a fifth got a loan from a bank, and 18% used a credit card.
In addition, a fifth of former students borrowed money from their friends, the study found.
While this year’s graduates are leaving university at a difficult time for the economy and wider job market, there are some things they can do to get on top of their finances, MoneySuperMarket said.
“In addition to paying down your student loan, you should start by having a clear picture of what you owe and when it needs to be repaid by,” advised personal finance expert Sasha Evans.
“If you have credit cards with expensive interest rates, see if you can switch to a 0% interest deal. Similarly, if you have a loan or an overdraft and think you’re paying over the odds, shop around to see if you can get a better rate.
“If you’re able to, always try to pay back more than just the minimum payments.”
She added: “If you’re really struggling with your debts, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your product providers. They’re required to take into account every individuals’ personal circumstances and you might be able to negotiate a personalised repayment plan.”