Siân Knight takes a wry look at student debt and how to handle it
1999 is not a cheap year for education. If you are lucky, your parents will support you through five years of medical school, giving you not only enough money to live on but enough to also ensure that you have a good time at the athletic union night on a Wednesday. If you are unlucky, medical school will result in student loans, mammoth overdrafts, and an annual collection of the ever diminishing student grant.
The National Union of Students calculates that an average medical student starting his or her course this year will accrue debt well in excess of £10 000 by the time he or she qualifies—a sobering thought. While some debts are inevitable, owing to university lifestyle, there are ways to minimise the fiscal damage.
The first hurdle to avoid is the overdraft. Every student is offered one, most students have one, and banks positively encourage them. What