Student Finance Calculator 2012 - 2015 How much will you pay?
per year £9,000
per year £7,675
per year £60,000
per year 15%
per year RPI 25%
per year RPI +15%
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The results are a rough estimate only, as a number of assumptions have been made:
- Interest is accrued and applied monthly (in reality it will accrue daily, but we have simplified it so that the tool can work properly – this makes a difference of up to 'plus or minus 2%'.
- You don't take any time off during the 30 years after graduation, and your salary rise is consistent. If you retire before the 30 years are up, there's a significant chance you'll repay far less.
- Repayments start in the April following graduation.
- In the final year of study, you receive 90% of the normal maintenance loan.
- There is no tuition fee inflation, so if you pay £9,000 in year one, you pay it for each year of study.
Try the following changes to see how it affects your repayments...
- If you're going into a profession with very high salaries for those at the top, try increasing 'Your salary growth'.
- Similarly, if you're looking at a career where salaries tend to remain static, you could set this lower.
- Try changing the size of the maintenance loan. This varies based on where you live, and where you study.
If you are likely to take a long career break (unemployment, sabbatical, travelling the world, or raising children), switch to part-time work or retire within 30 years, then you are likely to repay substantially less during that time - but the calculator can't factor this in.
This is the salary you think you will earn in your first year of employment. If you're not sure here are a few ideas of £ salaries, in the five most popular grad careers (according to BestCourse4Me)
- Health associate (nurses, hospital workers etc): £19,900
- Teacher: £19,400
- Doctor: £25,300
- Salesperson: £18,500
- Engineer: £23,300
For a more accurate idea of different salaries by profession, search BestCourse4Me.
What about my salary growing?
We assume you get an above inflation pay rise of 2% EVERY year (you can adjust this by ticking the ‘Change our assumptions?’ section). If you're going into a profession with high salaries for those at the top it may be worth increasing this.
What if I take some time out?
The calculator assumes you work for the whole thirty years. If you think you'll have prolonged periods out of work once you earn above the threshold (whether unemployment, sabbatical, travelling the world or raising children) you are likely to repay substantially less during that time.
To get a very rough idea of the impact, the easiest way is go to the 'Change our assumptions?' section and lower the 'your salary growth' slider. The more time you think you'll take off, the lower you should make this.
What if I plan to run my own business?
You still need to pay the student loans back at the same rate, though it comes out of profits, not salary. Those who are self-employed tend to have a more variable income than employees – but the rough premise is the same – so the calculator should still give you an idea.
This is the amount you pay to the higher education institution each year of your course. To look up what your university plans to charge, see the 2012/13 tuition fees chart (data from Office for Fair Access). For a quick guide, here are some basics.
Full-time course 2012:
Lowest fee: £6,000
Average fee: £8,161
Highest fee: £9,000
Note, some courses may offer fee waivers, which mean you pay less (though a bursary is likely to be preferable - see point 20 in student finance 2012 guide).
Part time course 2012:
Please use the Part Time 2012 calculator.
A loan for living costs is available to every full-time (not part-time) student under the age of 60. It's paid in three instalments, one at the start of each term.
A portion of the loan depends on household income – and for some on lower incomes the loan may be reduced and replaced by a non-repayable grant.Typical annual maintenance loans (marked on slider)
- Living in parental home while studying: £4,418/year
- Living away from home: £5,555/year
- Living away from home (London uni): £7,751/year
For more details and to work out what you'll be entitled to see points 11 and 12 in the student finance 2012 guide.
Select whether your course lasts three or four years. For 2012 starters, this means will you graduate in summer 2015 or summer 2016?
Tick the 'sandwich course' box if one year of your degree is spent away from your normal university – perhaps in industry or living abroad.
We assume this is the penultimate year of your course, that you pay half the normal tuition fees and receive 40% of the standard maintenance loan amount.
The student loan system uses the RPI measure of inflation to determine the rate of interest charged on your loan. During your course, the loan will accrue interest at a rate of RPI+3%, then after graduation you’ll face interest of between RPI and RPI+3%, depending on how much you earn.
It is worth sliding the bar to change RPI so you see the impact a change will have on the time you’ll repay for, as well as the total cost.
Inflation is likely to fluctuate quite a bit over the next three decades, but we use a fixed yearly rate to greatly ease the complexit. So remember you are picking an average rate, and it won’t fully take into account years of inflation at much higher or lower rates.
Slide the bar to change your prediction of how quickly your wages will increase, once you are earning. This bar is set relative to RPI, so remember what you picked for that.
We have assumed that you get a pay rise EVERY year, and that they are always the same percentage – if you take career breaks or have sudden large pay rises, factor their impact in separately. For example, a large one-off bonus will put a big dent in your outstanding balance, while a year off work will mean the whole thing takes longer to repay (but you won’t necessarily pay more).
Website BestCourse4Me lets you search for different professions and it gives an idea of average pay for them, and how pay changes throughout careers. Unfortunately it displays results as hourly rates – multiply that by about 1900 to get an annual wage.
The student loan system uses the average rate at which earnings increase in the UK work out how much you’ll pay back. From 2016, graduates will repay 9% of their earnings above £21,000 – but this threshold will increase each year by percentage growth of average earnings.
This is different from your salary growth, as it is averaged across millions of people, and a huge array of professions – both graduate and non-graduate jobs.
We chose to set ‘Your salary growth’ slightly higher than this, on the basis that being a graduate may mean you earn more, but if you don’t think this will be the case, you can play with these to your heart’s content.
What you repay...
This is the actual amount of money you would pay back over the years while there is an outstanding loan, or before it is wiped after 30 years.
Converted to today's money
This is NOT a real figure. It's extremely unlikely you'll ever pay this exact amount back. It's here to help show the impact on your pocket - showing the total cost of your borrowing if you were able to pay it back in one big lump, today.
Over the next 30 years, prices are very likely to increase significantly due to inflation. This figure shows you the cost of repaying the loan if you had done it today (and not spread it over the next few decades)
Inflation, if positive, means something costing £100 this year will on average cost more next year, so at 5% inflation it will cost £105 next year. So if you bought that item in a year's time for £105, that is the same real cost as buying it for £100 now.
By factoring inflation out of the amount you repay, we can see what the cost is at today's prices, before inflation. This should give you a good idea of what kind of deal you're getting. For some people, this will be more than the amount borrowed; for others it will be less.