With the current generation of graduates typically leaving university with a mountain of debt, it is perhaps unsurprising that so many parents are now looking to ease the burden by investing on their children’s behalf.
Government statistics show the average debt accumulated by a university student is currently around £45,000. Thankfully, graduates only start repayments when their earnings hit a certain threshold and, at the moment, loans are written off after 30 years however much debt remains. As a result, some students will never pay back their loans in full.
Increasing debt burden
Many students, though, do repay a significant amount of their debt, and recent reforms to the loans system means many more will do so in the future – government forecasts suggest that, from next year, over half of students will repay their loans in full. This inevitably places an even greater burden on future graduates’ shoulders, both as they enter the world of work and, potentially, throughout their entire careers.
Saving for their future
Most parents are keen to help their children fund university and many do so by investing on their behalf through a stocks and shares Junior ISA (JISA). While there are risks with stock market investments, historically they have performed better than cash-based savings and consistently delivered above-inflation returns. The annual JISA allowance is currently £9,000 per child which, for anyone who starts saving early, can grow to a sizeable tax-free lump sum. Smaller amounts can mount up too, particularly when combined with contributions from other family members.
Peace of mind
Investing on a child’s behalf can make a huge difference to their future, whether they decide to go to university or put the money towards something else. It also provides parents with the comfort of knowing they are giving their children the best possible start to adult life.
The value of investments can go down as well as up and you may not get back the full amount you invested. The past is not a guide to future performance and past performance may not necessarily be repeated.