Can an NHS Consultant Surgeon Pay Off a Student Loan?

There is no more prestigious job title than that of ‘Consultant Surgeon’. The surgeons of tomorrow will endure 15 years of training and at least £63,400 of student debt before they can earn such a title, and the impressive salaries that go with it.

With student loan interest rates set to rise from 4.6% to 6.1%, the mantra is that only high earners will ever pay off their student loan. But is this true? Does a consultant surgeon qualify as a ‘high earner’? We used the calculator to find out if even these bright minds have any hope of paying off their student loan.

surgeon student loan calculator payments table
surgeon student loan calculator payments graph

Graduating at around 23 years of age, a junior doctor will start on a salary of £26,614[1] and train for a further 10 years before becoming a surgeon. Whereas the interest rates of pre-2012 students were frozen at 1.25%, post-2012 student loans incur interest at a whopping RPI plus 3%; that will mean interest rates of 6.1%[2] for those earning over £41,000.

As discussed here, post-2012 students are effectively being levied with a graduate tax disguised as a student loan they can never pay off.