Total study debt doubled since 2015, still increasing
The total study debt of current and former students in the Netherlands was 26.7 billion euros at the start of 2022. That is an increase of 1.3 billion euros (5.5 percent) compared to last year and double the amount when the student loan system was implemented in 2015, Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reported.
At the start of this year, the average study debt of all students and former students was 15,900 euros - 700 euros more than a year earlier. Since the introduction of the loan system, the average study debt has increased by 3,500 euros.
In January, 1.6 million people had study debts. “After an increase in recent years, the number has remained the same compared to 2021,” CBS said. Sightly more than half had a debt of less than 10 thousand euros. Eight percent owed less than 500 euros.
The number of students and former students with major debts increased significantly. Nearly 300,000 people (18 percent) owed 30,000 euros or more - 180,000 more than in 2015 (11 percent). Over 100,000 people owed 50,000 or more, and 1,400 had a debt of more than 100,000.
The student loan system replaced the basic study grant in 2015. The government reversed that decision this year and reimplemented the basic study grant in the 2023/2024 academic year.
The Cabinet wants to lower the financial threshold to further your education. However, budget institute Nibud recently warned that the proposed amounts would not be enough for students whose parents earn up to 1.5 times the average income. They’ll still have to take out loans to make ends meet.