Students racking up more and more debt, figures show

Student bank accounts are talking a battering across Australia, as more academics are racking up huge amounts of debt.

According to statistics released by the Australian Taxation Office, the average Higher Education Loan Program debt in June 2010 was $13,617, National Features reports.

This marked a rise of 75 per cent on 2002, when the average debt stood at $7,784.

However, the Higher Education Loan Programme (HELP) accounts for a large proportion of people's arrears and these loans are not paid back until a person is earning more than $47,196.

Financial planner at AMP Dianne Charman told the news provider that it is wise for students to pay off their debts "sooner rather than later".

"A five per cent discount is not ten per cent, but it's still a discount. If you can afford it, do it, get rid of it," she commented.

Students are now looking for more from their banks, with many searching for the institutions that offer the best low interest overdraft facilities.

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