These projections depend on the underlying assumptions used in their forecasting and are inherently uncertain due to uncertainties associated with these assumptions and approximations. These projections are intended to give an indication of how the outstanding balance of student loans could grow if current policies and trends continue. This long-term projection is derived by extending the following assumptions from the short-term model (which provides forecasts up until 2025-26) over the next 50 years:
- Average student loan outlay per borrower increases each year in line with forecasts for RPIX from the Office for Budget Responsibility’s (OBR) Economic and fiscal outlook.
- Loan borrower entrant numbers vary in line with the Office for National Statistics (ONS) 2016-based principal population projections, weighted to the age profile of new entrants for each loan product.
- Future entrants have the same distribution of characteristics, loan amounts (uprated by RPIX) and earnings (uprated by OBR average earnings growth forecasts) as the 2025-26 entrants in the DfE student loan repayment and Advanced Learner Loans models.
- The maximum loan amounts, repayment thresholds and interest thresholds are uprated annually as appropriate. There are no other changes to student loan policies.
Under these assumptions the outstanding balance on student loans is anticipated to reach a peak of around ?544 billion in 2020-21 prices in the early 2050s, at around the time that the first few cohorts of Plan 2 loan borrowers reach the end of their 30 year repayment terms and have any remaining loan balance cancelled. At this time, the nominal face value of the student loans would be approximately ?1.3 trillion.
These are Official Statistics and have been produced in line with the Code of Practice for Statistics. This can be broadly interpreted to mean that the statistics:
- meet identified user needs;
- are well explained and readily accessible;
- are produced according to sound methods, and
- are managed impartially and objectively in the public interest.
Once statistics have been designated as Official Statistics it is a statutory requirement that the Code of Practice shall continue to be observed.
The borrower no longer has any liability to repay, as provided for in the loan’s regulations. A borrower’s liability is cancelled:
- On the death of the borrower;
|Academic year||The year from 1 August to 31 July. Throughout the publication this is denoted in the format ‘ to describe the year from .|
|Advanced Learner Loan (ALL)||A fee loan payable to Further Education (FE) providers on behalf of FE learners who meet the eligibility criteria and started a FE course on or after .|
|Capitalised interest||The interest accrued on student loans is added to a borrower’s loan balance, rather than requiring repayment at the time it is accrued.|
|Doctoral loan||Loans issued to students on Doctoral courses, on the Plan 3 repayment system. They are paid directly to students and can be used to cover fees or living costs.|
|Domicile||The usual residence of a student in the period prior to commencement of study. The financial support available to students from Government can vary for students from different domiciles. This publication includes forecasts of entrant numbers for English and EU domiciled students. Wherever EU domiciled’ students are referred to this includes students domiciled in countries other than the UK that count as EU domiciled for funding purposes.|
|Entrants||Students in their first year of study. Defined as those starting a course in the academic year who have not been active at the same broad level of study at the same provider in either of the two previous academic years.|
|Face value of loan book||The total outstanding balance of the loan book. This will include all previous loan outlay and accrued interest, less any repayments or loan cancellations.|