|>>|| No. 6263
Forget about the actual sum of money. For all practical purposes, it's irrelevant.
Effectively, you'll be paying a small amount of extra tax for the next 30 years. If you earn more than £21,000, HMRC will automatically deduct 9% of everything over that. If you're earning £30,000, that means you'll take home £440 per week instead of £455. If you're earning £40,000, you'll take home £553 a week instead of £586. £50,000 of debt looks really scary, but the reality for most people is about £15 a week in extra tax, which isn't scary at all.
There has been a lot of hysteria about the student loans system, but it really isn't anything to worry about. It'd be nice if everyone got a free education, but the current system is nothing more than a minor inconvenience. If you're not earning more than £21k, you don't have to pay a sausage. If you're earning more, your repayments are a fraction of what you're paying anyway in tax and national insurance. Either way, the debt is completely forgiven after 30 years.
If you move abroad then you'll probably dodge your student loan repayments, but you may well be worse off. Most developed countries have higher taxes than the UK, which is why they can afford to make university education free. If you move to France, you'll pay a lot more tax than in the UK. If you move to Germany, you'll pay more tax and you'll have to pay for your own health insurance.