The government has announced it will put more student loans up for sale to the private financial sector.
Student loans from between 2002 and 2006 are to be sold, with the remaining pre-2012 loans set to follow. 2012 was the year in which tuition fees were trebled from £3,000 to £9,000.
The government aims to raise £12bn from the sale.
Jo Johnson, the Universities Minister, said that the sale would have “no impact on people with student loans” and that the government would “only proceed once [they] are satisfied that it represents value for money for the taxpayer.”
The government has promised that there will be “no changes to the terms and conditions” for the former students who took out the loans, which means that the repayment rates will remain the same.
The interest on the loans will provide income for private companies, but the repayments will still be collected through taxes and by the Student Loans Company.
The NUS said that the sale showed “economic illiteracy” and warned that the move would come at the expense of students.
Sorana Vieru, Vice-President of the NUS, said: “It is outrageous that bankers will profit off the backs of graduates who took out loans because they had no other option.”
David Gauke, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, said that the sale was “an important contribution in our work to repair the public finances.”
The UK national debt currently stands at £1.8tn or 90 percent of GDP. The budget deficit is estimated to be £68bn.