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HECS-HELP loan has increased 7.1% due to inflation indexation as graduates lament growing debts

Summary

Millions of Australians with HECS-HELP loans are facing a 7.1% increase in their debt due to inflation indexation. The National Union of Students (NUS) estimates this will increase the total value of HECS loans by $4.5 billion, with the average debt projected to rise by $1700. The NUS is calling for a freeze on indexation, while graduates feel the impact of the increase, such as Ruby Basson, who had to dip into her home deposit savings to pay down her loan. Jane Body is also facing an increase in her debt ten years after graduation. Both graduates are critical of the move and are concerned about the long-term impact it will have, with a decrease in people opting for tertiary education due to economic concerns.

Q&As

How much has the HECS-HELP loan increased due to inflation indexation?
The HECS-HELP loan has increased 7.1% due to inflation indexation.

What percentage of income must be paid back on HECS loans?
Repayments of HECS start at one per cent of your income if you earn between $48,361 and $55,836, and increase to 10 per cent of income above $141,848 per annum.

What is the National Union of Students' opinion on the loan hike?
The National Union of Students is calling for a freeze on HECS indexation to allow another solution to be put in place, while also saying the move is “unfair” as it claims the government will profit $2.5 billion off students and graduates this year alone.

How has the loan hike affected Ruby Basson?
The loan hike has set Ruby Basson back a year in her efforts to buy her own property and has caused her emotional distress.

What impact is the loan hike expected to have on tertiary education?
The loan hike is expected to lead to a "less educated country" as fewer people opt for tertiary education.

AI Comments

👍 This article goes into detail about the issues that graduates are facing due to the unexpected increase in their HECS-HELP loan. It provides the perspective of two university graduates and the impact this change will have on their lives.

👎 This article highlights the unfairness of the HECS-HELP loan increase to millions of Australians, particularly younger people, without offering any solutions to the problem.

AI Discussion

Me: It's about how the HECS-HELP loan has increased 7.1% due to inflation indexation and how this is causing financial pain for many Australians, particularly younger people. It looks at the effect this has on one woman in particular, who is struggling to pay off her debt.

Friend: That's really concerning. It sounds like this will have a huge impact on the lives of many young Australians, not just in terms of their finances, but in terms of their dreams and aspirations as well.

Me: Absolutely. This kind of debt can be really crushing and it affects other areas of life. For example, the woman in the article had to dip into her savings account meant for a home deposit in order to pay off her loan. It also affects people's ability to pursue further education, as the woman in the article was unable to complete her Masters due to the financial burden of the loan. This could have long-term implications on our economy, as people may be unable to get the education they need to be able to contribute to society.

Action items

Technical terms

HECS-HELP loan
Higher Education Contribution Scheme-Higher Education Loan Program loan. This is an Australian government loan program that helps students pay for their tertiary education.
Inflation indexation
The process of adjusting a loan amount to account for changes in the cost of living. This is done by increasing the loan amount by the rate of inflation.
Cost of living crisis
A situation in which the cost of basic necessities such as food, housing, and transportation are rising faster than wages.
National Union of Students (NUS)
An Australian student organisation that represents the interests of students in higher education.
Wage growth
The rate at which wages increase over time.
Inflation rate
The rate at which prices for goods and services increase over time.
Mortgage brokers
Professionals who help people find the best mortgage for their needs.
Not-for-profits
Organisations that are not operated for the purpose of making a profit.
Advocacy
The act of speaking out in support of a cause or issue.

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