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56% of students are struggling financially

04 Feb 56% of students are struggling financially

Analysis by UniHomes, the UK’s leading student accommodation platform, has found that more than half of students struggle to get by financially, with food, travel and course materials eating away most at their student loan once the rent is paid.

UniHomes asked UK students if their student loan provided them with enough money to live comfortably? 56% stated that it didn’t and they struggled, while a further 30% stated they could just about get by on it.

No surprise then, that 54% of students have had to get a job while at university in order to supplement their student loan.

UniHomes also asked them which area of life swallowed up the largest amount of their loan once rent was accounted for? The research found that food costs were the biggest outgoing for 49% which makes sense given its essential role in keeping us alive!

University itself accounted for the largest outgoing for 18%, with travel to and from uni ranking high (10%) along with the cost of course materials (8%).

Despite the general stereotype of student life, just 2% stated that nights out in bars, clubs and restaurants accounted for the biggest proportion of spend after rent. Although, this could be due to current lockdown restrictions dampening the student social scene.

These additional outgoings all add up, but when it comes to making your student loan last, it’s the cost of renting that ranks as the most substantial outgoing a student is required to cover.

The average student loan debt currently totals as much as £40,000 over the course of three years, amounting to £13,333 per year. However, the varying cost of renting around Britain means that the proportion of this loan required to cover the cost of renting can differ depending on your university of choice.

The cheapest areas in Britain

The most reasonable area of Britain for student rental affordability is the North East. Those heading to North East based universities, such as Newcastle and Durham, will pay an average of £108 per week or £4,104 per term year, equating to 31% of their annual student loan.

The next most affordable is the West Midlands, home to universities like Warwick and Birmingham, with typical student rents at £112 per person, per week accounting for 32% of the annual student loan.

Wales, home to the likes of Cardiff University, is the next cheapest in Britain, with weekly rents of £113, amounting to £4,294 annually requiring 32% of the yearly student loan.

After that comes Yorkshire and the Humber, the East Midlands and the North West, all of which command rents costing a third (33%) of the average student’s yearly loan.

London and the South East – the most expensive

At the other end of the spectrum is London. Home to some of Britain’s top universities such as Imperial College London, student rents in the capital average at £162 per week.

At a total cost of £6,156 per year, the average student in London is required to spend 46% of their annual student loan just to cover the cost of renting. Although with the capital providing such as high level social and educational offering, it’s arguably money well spent.

Similarly in the South East, home to the University of Oxford, rents make up 46% of a students yearly debt.

Meanwhile, in both the South West and East of England, home to universities like Bath and Cambridge respectively, rents make up 38% of student loan debt.