Student debt 'a very real fear' among parents

Survey shows that student debt and effective budgeting are among parents' greatest concerns when they send their children to university

Published 25 January 2014  |  
(Photo: Sufi Nawaz)

A YouGov survey reveals that parents worry how well their kids will budget when they first leave home.

The survey, commissioned by Ukash, found that over a quarter of parents (26 per cent) with a child aged 16-21 either at university of planning to go voiced concern about their offspring getting into debt.

While 16 per cent said they were "very confident" in their child's ability to look after their money well, and 15 per cent said getting a good degree is more important than debt, 32 per cent said they were either "not very" or "not at all" confident in their child's budgeting abilities.

More than half of parents (55 per cent) cited that learning to manage money well is a valuable aspect of a university education, perhaps especially given that almost a third (29 per cent) worry that their children will struggle to find employment upon graduating.

"University is a fantastic and unique time to make the most of new-found independence, but this lifestyle can all-too-easily lead down a slippery slope to long-lasting debt if outgoings aren't managed carefully," explained Miranda McLean, Marketing Director of Ukash.

"Our research demonstrates that this is a very real fear amongst many parents.

"Many, if not most, students rely on the 'Bank of Mum and Dad' at least to some extent in order to get them through uni. With high tuition fees and the general increased cost of living, this can be a tough time for parents."

Suggestions for worried parents include talking through budgets with children before they head to uni, or sending them cash in smaller, easier-to-manage instalments instead of a large lump sum at the beginning of term.

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