20,000 struggle to pay back student loans
Over three quarters of a million people have a student annuity loan in Sweden. The system of grants and loans was reformed in 2001 to make education accessible for all, particularly those above 30 and the disabled. But many who have borrowed money find it is a struggle to pay it back.
The loan system is administered by one central agency, the Swedish National Board of Student Aid (CSN) and on Tuesday the findings of a report investigating how well the system has worked over the last decade were presented to the media.
It found that students are now much better at paying back their loans, but there are still problems retrieving money from some students studying abroad.
Many of the students here decide to pay their loans back in higher amounts to save on the interest, but while this trend has been welcomed, it has created its own problem with 20,000 borrowers having difficulties paying back the higher amounts, even though they could still have applied to change and pay back their debts in smaller amounts.
15,000 of those 20,000 cases were forwarded on to the debt collectors.
Carl-Johan Stolt from CSN told Radio Sweden that people in trouble must know that they can apply to pay back their loans in smaller amounts.