The interest rate on loans in England is calculated by adding 3% to the retail price index.
Student nurses and other graduates will pay up to 12% interest on their loans this autumn, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS).
Nursing students already leave university with up to £80,000 in loans, the rise in interest rates could potentially see this debt by thousands of pounds.
The interest rate on loans in England is calculated by adding 3% to the retail price index (RPI).
For most Band 5 graduate nurses, the interest rate will increase from 1.5% to 9%. In real terms, this means incurring about £2,300 in interest in just six months.
The rate will dip in March 2023, when a cap on the interest will kick in.
Hillary Gyebi-Ababio, from the National Union of Students described the headline figures as “brutal”.
Risking patient safety.
Responding to the news, she said, “Increasing the maximum interest rate on student loans to 12% will deter thousands of students from going to university, and will cause unparalleled uncertainty for the millions of graduates already repaying their loans, with thousands of pounds added to their debt sheet.”
Grassroots campaigning group Nurses United UK added that this tax on learning could affect patient safety.
Lead organiser Anthony Johnson added, “We all know how important education is to our patient’s safety. Every 10% increase in the number of degree-educated nurses reduces the risk of patient mortality by 7%.
“That’s why this tax on learning, when nurses have lost over 30% of their wages since 2010, is disgraceful. Nurses are having to choose whether or not to fill up their cars or to feed themselves. That is a risk to our patient’s safety.
“Shame on this Government for attacking people for pursuing education and shame on them for putting nurses in poverty whilst they sip wine and cheese.