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I'm not a native English speaker and I have trouble understanding this sentence from The Daily Telegraph. Does mounting interest mean paying the interest and then the actual loan?

The burden of mounting interest and starting to repay loans can be a daunting prospect once your degree is awarded.

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What @Theo said. More specifically, the writer is distinguishing two separate problems facing new graduates. Firstly, the fact that because of interest charges, the total debt is more than the amount of money borrowed (and increases as time passes). Secondly, the fact that repayments might actually need to be made. But given they don't start to pay anything unless they earn over £15K, and the interest rates are currently less than inflation, I don't think anyone bright enough to get a degree in the first place would be put off by such "burdens". – FumbleFingers Dec 8 '12 at 22:57
@FumbleFingers: USA student loans are on much less favorable terms. – Andrew Lazarus Dec 8 '12 at 23:07
Thank you for the help, now I understand it. (and although discussing the related article is off-topic, here is the link to it in case anyone is interested; it's from 2006) – Tamás Szelei Dec 8 '12 at 23:10
@Andrew Lazarus: Well, let's keep it in context. OP's quote is from the UK's Daily Telegraph (it's an article in the "Personal Finance" section, published June 2006). (as I now see fish has also linked in!). – FumbleFingers Dec 8 '12 at 23:15
up vote 3 down vote accepted

From OALD, mounting means:

increasing, often in a manner that causes or expresses anxiety

It is the adjective of mount meaning to increase gradually

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