Student can live at home and is lucky not to have to pay board. Uses the Student Loan to pay for fees only. Works full time over the summer holidays and has a small part time job during the academic periods. Saves as much as possible. Pays for books, notes, stationery etc from savings. Keeps personal spending to a modest amount for socializing, cellphone, clothes etc. Upon graduation, the student should have some savings to put towards his student loan debt. If parents can assist from their own savings then the student may be able to pay off most if not all of the Student Loan debt. No interest will have accrued on the loan; the annual administration fee of $60 will be the only extra cost incurred.
Student must leave home to go to University. Has to pay hostel or flatting costs as well as tuition fees. Uses the Student Loan for fees but tries to avoid claiming the living costs. Parental help, plus savings from summer work and a modest part time job during the academic period pays the living expenses. The student may need to claim the course related costs portion of the Student Loan ($1000) to assist with texts and course materials. Student Loan debt has therefore been minimized to tuition fees/course costs only. (Borrowing living costs more than doubles the debt) If it's unavoidable to borrow some living costs, one should try to minimize the amount claimed.
Student doesn’t plan ahead studywise or budgetwise. Fails a few courses, withdraws late from a few others. Adds a few thousand dollars in tuition fees to the Student Loan debt for nothing. Claims the $172 living costs of the Student Loan mostly to spend on ‘extras’, i.e. going out, buying clothes, music downloads. Eventually completes a degree with a poor transcript and large Student Loan debt of over $40,000.
The Sorted website provides a calculator that helps students understand how long it will take for them to pay off their student loan. It's worth a look!