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Stockholm tops Swedish student debt league

Stockholm tops Swedish student debt league

Published: 24 Jan 2011 16:56 GMT+01:00
Updated: 24 Jan 2011 16:56 GMT+01:00

Residents of Stockholm continue to carry the highest levels of student debt in the country, according to new figures from Sweden’s student lending agency, CSN.

Swedes with the highest student debts are concentration in counties which are also home to Sweden’s larger cities.

Overall, Stockholm residents owe an average of 143,034 kronor per person ($21,700), compared with a national average of 128,209 kronor per person.

In contrast, residents of Jönköping County in central Sweden have the lowest student debt load, owing an average of 107,545 kronor per person.

“Debts have increased somewhat in most counties during the last year. The exception are Västmanland and Blekinge, where debt has fallen,” CSN’s Lars Hillerström said in a statement.

Overall, Swedes owe the agency a total of 186 billion kronor.

According to Hillerström, the number of people who have taken out student loans has increased in recent years.

“It’s due to a combination of a weak economy and the fact that the government decided to increase the number of available spots,” he said.

In addition, CSN reports that low interest rates in recent years have resulted in more people with student loans choosing to devote a larger part of their loan payments to paying down the principle.

Currently, the interest rate charged on student loans in 1.9 percent – the lowest rate ever.

“This has primarily helped people with relatively small student loans. But it’s even had an effect more generally,” said Hillerström.

While Swedish universities don’t charge tuition fees to Swedish citizens, many Swedish students choose to take out loans to cover living expenses while they pursue their degrees.

Aid is also available for high school students as well as those pursuing adult secondary education.

In 2009, CSN spent roughly 13.4 billion kronor in grants and 11.6 billion kronor in loans.

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Your comments about this article

18:01 January 24, 2011 by GLO
Does it cost more to live in Stockholm than smaller city's? Gee maybe you should do a study. Give kids free money and they will always [ ].......
01:31 January 25, 2011 by NickM
Well I never, i thought it would have been Lapland.
14:38 January 25, 2011 by JulieLou40
Can't believe these people think we didn't know that already....well DOH, of course it's going to cost more to live in the capital.

God give me strength!!
14:43 January 25, 2011 by Puffin
Well what a huge surprise that the city with the highest number of graduates also has the highest numbers that have taken student aid - not
07:05 January 30, 2011 by suckfist
"According to Hillerström, the number of people who have taken out student loans has increased in recent years.

'It's due to a combination of a weak economy and the fact that the government decided to increase the number of available spots,' he said."

Weak economy? Huh? But Bill Clinton said otherwise at Davos. Could he have been wrong? What does it all mean?
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