More than 50% of Dutch students are taking out higher student loans than they need and saving the cash for later, according to research by family spending institute Nibud.
Researchers questioned 1,383 students at university or an hbo college and found 54% used their student loans to boost their savings or to save up for a deposit on a house.
The interest rate on student loans is virtually zero at present. The research also showed that just 12% of students consider building up debts while studying to be a problem compared with 30% just two years ago, when grants were abolished.
In 2015, just 30% of students took out a loan but that has now risen to 62%. Two thirds have a job, the same percentage as in 2015, but they now work longer hours Nibud said.
At the same time, students are more likely to live at home than they used to be. Some 56% of first and second-year students still live with their parents. Parents often pay students health insurance and college fees, Nibud said.
The average student who lives at home needs €703 a month to pay college fees, books, health insurance etc. The average student who lives in a house with friends or on their own has monthly expenditure of €1,238, Nibud said.
The organisation warns that students who borrow money to save are building up their debts unnecessarily and that the interest rate can rise. In addition, a high student debt can have an impact on their mortgage options, Nibud says.