A recent study published in the British Medical Journal shows how doctors in the UK will have difficulty in repaying their student loans. It shows that on average medical students will have debts of more than £80,000 by the time they graduate.
Gender inequality is prevalent since women pay more in interest despite earning less than men.
The research was based on 4286 doctors between 1997 and 2014 who had graduated from a 5 year medical course in the UK and had annual tuition fees of £9,000.
Taking in to consideration tuition fees and maintenance loans, it showed that a 2014 medical graduated living at home would have accrued £64,000 in debt while a student living away from home would have £70,000 in debt. For a student living away from home in London the total debt rose to £82,000 by the time of graduation. At an annual interest rate of 3% plus annual inflation rate (Retail Price Index) and based on 9% of salary earned above £21,000 gross income women doctors will have to repay £75,786 for an initial debt above £46,000 and male doctors will have to repay £110,644 for an initial debt above £65,145.
“It seems reasonable that these repayment variations may actually exist across many graduate careers in the UK,” write the researchers. “It is also apparent that at the current level of fees, even small changes in the student loan contract will have substantial implications for lifetime wealth across different income groups, across male and female graduates, and on the sustainability of the student loans system.”