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Uni debts impact ability to buy property, say students

A rising number of Australians say their student debts are hampering their ability to buy a home.

Futurity Investment Group surveyed more than 1000 people who had either completed their degree, were currently studying, had deferred a degree or withdrew from study.

The average HECS-Help debt is $22,636, the study found, with the bulk of graduates carrying their debt into their 30s and over half still carrying their debt into their 40s.

Three in five revealed their HECS-Help debt has impacted their ability to purchase a home, a jump of nine per cent over three years.

It also showed 35 per cent reported their debt had a moderate to very large impact on their ability to start a family, up from 28 per cent in 2020, while 31 per cent revealed it had impacted their ability to get married.

Almost seven in 10 were uncomfortable with their level of debt, with females more uncomfortable than males (72 per cent versus 63 per cent).

The research also found university-educated females had more HECS-Help debt and earned less than their male contemporaries.

Most graduates (61 per cent) aged 22 to 29 finished university with a HECS-Help debt of between $20,000 and $50,000 - an increase of 13 per cent since 2020.

Futurity Investment Group CEO Ross Higgins said it was essential all Australians understood the value of having dedicated savings and funding for university education, to minimise large student debts.

"With the total cost of education now demanding a far greater share of the family budget, coupled with the spiralling cost of living, parents and grandparents need effective savings and investment solutions to meet the educational aspirations of their children and grandchildren," he said in the report.

A number of those surveyed said high school students should be better educated about university debt and methods to pay it off sooner.