A study found 73 per cent of graduates will take so long to repay their debt they will qualify for it to be written off after 30 years – when most will be at least 51.
The research, by the Institute for Fiscal Studies, found that a typical student will graduate with debts of £44,035 under the new system, up from £24,754 under the old regime.
The report follows an admission by the Government that 45 per cent of loans are not expected to be paid back.
The research, by consumer help website MoneySavingExpert.com, also revealed that the highest earning parents - those earning upwards of £69,803 a year - are now expected to pay over £5,300 a year towards university costs.
London is the 5th most expensive place in the world to be a student
80% of students constantly worry about money
1 in 3 has never budgeted
5,070 students aged 50 or over claimed maintenance loans in 2013/14, up to 4,510 a year earlier.
Many of those claiming loans are unlikely to ever repay because of rules that mean payments only kick in when graduates earn more than £21,000. The average retirement income is £11,000 and loans are written off after 30 years or when the borrower dies.