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Students to keep paying off debt beyond 67

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Students to keep paying off debt beyond 67
12:22 CEST+02:00
The Swedish government has proposed scrapping the 25-year span for repaying student loans, by suggesting those who attend higher education should keep paying the money back well into retirement.

At present some 200,000 students have their student loan written off every year when they reach the age of 67. However, proposals in the government's spring government bill are set to increase the financial burden on students. 

Along with the idea of extending the debt into old age, the government are going to more than double the fee when students get a late payment reminder.

It is presently 250 kronor ($38) but will go up to 450 kronor if the reform is passed. The move follows hot on the heels of a government u-turn to cut student grant by 300 kronor a month.

Finance minister Anders Borg has justified the moves by saying that all reforms must be paid for krona by krona.

The Swedish National Union of Students (Sveriges förenade studentkårer) criticized the government proposals, arguing that the level of debt already continues to increase.

"We are strongly opposed to this debt and collection politics which is obviously a strategy to pay for higher education. The past few years the debt burden has increased every year," chairman Erik Arroy told the TT news agency. 

He added; "It's fair that you repay your loans. However, we don't find it reasonable that you are expected to put yourself in debt as much as they assume people will do today." 
 
Meanwhile the Swedish student grant agency (CSN) said the proposed reform will mean they are dealing with a new, older, range of people in the future. 
 
"We will have a new group to work with and it's pensioners," Boel Magnusson of CSN told TT. 
 
She added that the full impact on CSN will not be known until an analysis on the proposal has been carried out. 
 
The Local/pr

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