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Sharp rise in parents taking out LOANS to pay children’s private school fees

More and more parents are taking out loans to pay for private school fees for their children, according to a lender.

This trend reflects the soaring cost of private education, as well as the cost of living crisis putting pressure on household finances.

The average cost per child at a UK private school is now around £20,480 a year for day pupils and £34,790 a year for boarders, according to School Fees Checker, with fees rising around 4 per cent a year.

Costs vary dramatically across the UK, with London having the highest fees at £23,249 a year for day school, and £37,729 for boarding and tuition.

Teacher's debts: The cost of private schools, such as Eton (pictured) is high - and rising Teacher's debts: The cost of private schools, such as Eton (pictured) is high - and rising

Teacher’s debts: The cost of private schools, such as Eton (pictured) is high – and rising

Northern Ireland has the lowest fees, where parents pay £7,485 a year for day students on average, and £20,329 for boarders.

Lender Premium Credit says it saw an 84 per cent rise in parents taking out loans to help with these fees in 2022 compared to 2021.

The amount of cash lent out rose 13 per cent in 2022, the lender added.

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Private school loans let parents spread the cost of private schooling into monthly installments, rather than paying a lump sum every term. 

The interest rate on Premium Credit loans are normally around 6.7 per cent.

These financial deals can also help parents pay extra costs such as music tuition and the price of school trips.

Premium Credit Specialist Lending chief commercial officer Jennie Hill said: ‘With the general rise in the cost of living and private education, the pressure to make schools fees more manageable has increased. 

‘This is reflected in the huge growth we have seen in the number of parents taking out plans with us to spread the cost of their children’s education. 

‘For many, it makes sense to spread this cost, even if they can afford to make the payments every term.’

The Independent Schools Council trade body estimates that 5.9 per cent of UK children go to private schools. There are around 620,000 children being educated in 2,500 private schools.

The Labour party has plans to bring in VAT on private school fees, which would hike the cost of this type of education by 20 per cent.

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