With record breaking numbers of students attending UK universities, and therefore more 'debt' being amassed (and more scare-mongering by the media of the notion of it), what is the human perception of debt?
Most people, if you stopped them in the street would say debt is a very negative thing.
Also, there isn't a single county on Earth that isn't in millions, billions or trillions of pounds of 'debt', and economics experts argue that a 'healthy' level of debt allows a country to, using a Star Trek reference, 'live long and prosper'.
Yes, debt can be a life-damaging and crippling thing, but it can also be a good thing. Let's look at debt from another perspective...
"I can't believe what you've done for me, I am forever in your debt" - this could be a line straight out of an award-winning Hollywood drama.
If you look in a dictionary at the word "debt" you might be surprised what by the definitions you get...
'Owing gratitude for a service or favour.'
Synonyms for the word are: obliged and bound, but also grateful, thankful, filled with gratitude, appreciative, and beholden.
To be indebted to someone or something, means an understanding and appreciation of it, and the fact it has supported you and perhaps even got you to where you are today. Student finance can do the same.
The people know who are happiest in their careers funnily enough don't mind paying off a little portion off their salary towards their student loan each month, because they feel the university experience (the course, the character-building, the friendships, the opportunities) played a huge part in getting them into their current position,
How much do you value the experience?
Some people spend more each month on car repayments for a flashy new model they just had to have, or on video games (an average of £50 a pop), or scratch cards and lottery tickets, or novelty apps for their phones, or new clothes each weekend, or three meals' out per week...
All of this can easily amount to more money out of your wallet each month than what your student loan repayments would be.
It's all about balance and perspective: if you look at the university experience (when choosing it, when there, after graduating) as an incredibly valuable experience for your personal and professional development, then you feel indebted in a great way.
Oddly, when you know the money is coming off, it makes you feel good because university was free on the point of entry, and you're only paying a little bit back each month.
It's like your mum buying you a house and you only paying her in a hot chocolate each week –you're really happy to give a bit back regularly, for something valuable, and know at this rate of hot chocolates you probably won't pay back everything you owe to mum anyway (but she doesn't mind at all).
Each time a student loan repayment comes off, you might reflect on the experience and give a little nod to the sky and say "thanks", especially when you know that:
Being thankful for something useful, that continues to be useful each day (the course as well as all your transferable skills you built up), is even better when you know you probably won't pay back everything you owe to that great experience.
If you do pay it all back, you're probably even more grateful, as you will only pay it all back if you are earning a lot of money over the next 30 years.
In conclusion, the more valuable the experience, the more grateful you feel for it.
At Push we like to describe employability as adding value and being useful. If your university experience was incredible valuable and useful, you've most likely been shaped into a person who adds value and is useful to companies.
That means you're highly employable, and will continue to be. So you're more likely to do a job you love, and get paid well for it.
Then you can pay back some of your student loan, and hopefully you feel grateful for it.
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