Cost of third level education for parents and students revealed

Galway footballer Paul Conroy, supporting the St Columba's Credit Union Student Loan Campaign.

Galway footballer Paul Conroy, supporting the St Columba's Credit Union Student Loan Campaign.

The reality of the cost of third level education becomes all too real for parents and students at this time of year. New research by the Irish League of Credit Unions has found that nine in ten parents help to fund their child’s college education. On average, they contribute €584 per month during the college year. Almost half of these parents say they are forced to cut spending on clothing and goods for other children in the family in an effort to cope with costs.

Six in ten say they will get into debt funding their child’s third level education, and expect to accrue debt of €2,425 per child per college year. With costs like this, it is little wonder that more than three quarters of parents view third level costs as a financial burden.

Students themselves also struggle with costs, with those living outside of home estimating they spend €1,229 per month. This is almost double that spent by students living at home who say they fork out €667. Seven in ten students say they have to work to cope with costs, and more than a third are skipping lectures in order to earn money. For a substantial 57%, finance and debt is a major college-related concern, revealing the impact money issues have on a student’s college life.

Speaking about the survey, Michael Duffy, Chairman St. Columba’s Credit Union said these findings reveal the extent to which financial worries are impacting on the lives of third level students, with many skipping lectures to work and a huge percentage citing finance and debt as their biggest college-related worry.

“We know that many students in the Galway City and County areas will need financial assistance in order to fund their third level education, and we want to assure them that with a credit union loan there is no need to stress about borrowing.

“For example, at St. Columba’s Credit Union we offer our student loan at an affordable APR rate of 6.2%*. There are no hidden administration or transaction fees and we approve our loans within a few days. We are always happy to work with students to figure out a repayment plan that will ensure they can maximise time spent on their studies and reduce the time worrying about money.”

Michael continued “We would seriously urge any parents thinking about approaching moneylenders to reconsider. Moneylenders can charge crippling rates of interest – but at the credit union, our interest rates are fair and capped by law. We are always happy to assist parents with both budgeting for the household and working out a realistic repayment plan so that borrowing money does not lead to unnecessarily high levels of debt. Our friendly staff are always on hand to chat through options, be it with those members we see every day, brand new members and equally those members who may have a lapsed or inactive account.”

*Cost of Finance For a €5,000 two-year variable interest rate loan with 24 monthly repayments of €221.61, an interest Rate of 6%, a representative APR of 6.2%, the total amount payable by the member is €5,318.47. Information correct as at 24/08/18

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