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One in three under-35s regret university because of debts, report claims

Published 10/08/2016

Many former-students say they regret the debts they built up at university and others believe they could have progressed in their career without a university education
Many former-students say they regret the debts they built up at university and others believe they could have progressed in their career without a university education

More than one in three 18 to 35-year-olds who went to university now say they regret it due to their debts, a report has found.

Some 37% of the millennial generation regretted going to university for this reason and nearly half (49%) believe they would have got to where they are now without their university education.

The research, from Aviva, found that despite having had longer to see the benefits of their degree, 25 to 35-year-olds were as likely to say they regretted going to university due to the state of their finances now as those aged between 18 and 24.

Looking across Britain, m illennials in the North East of England, West Midlands and Wales were most likely to say they regretted going to university given the amount of student debt they have.

And 18 to 35-year-olds in the North East were also most likely to believe they could have got to where they are now without going to university.

Millennials in the South East were the least likely to regret going to university or say they could have got to where they are now without it.

Those in the South West of England were most likely to say their generation had been priced out of the property market, with 46% agreeing with this, while those in the North West of England were the least likely to believe this is the case, at 23%.

Across the survey, millennials typically estimated it will take them another 11 years to clear their debts, although 22% said they do not know how much they have left to pay off.

On average, they have just £156 left over at the end of each month after paying essential living costs.

While over a third (36%) are hoping a new job will increase their salary, a similar proportion (30%) are relying on being given money - either in the form of a family inheritance (18%) or some other financial gift (12%) - to help them in the future.

Millennials in Scotland, Wales and the North East were the most likely to say they were relying on borrowed money to cover their rent.

Those in London were the most likely to have received financial help from their parents, with 63% having done so.

One in six (17%) were pinning their hopes on a lottery win to improve their financial situation.

Louise Colley, customer propositions director at Aviva, said: "Millennials are plagued with uncertainty about the outlook for their financial futures, an issue which has not been helped by the uncertainty of today's economic and political climate.

"The financial hangover from university has also led many in this age group to question whether in hindsight they made the right decision and how much value it has brought to their current position."

She suggested prioritising saving where possible, even if it is just small amounts, could help people feel more confident and in control of their future prospects.

Aviva used two surveys of around 2,000 people to make the findings.

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