Student Money Tips
We look at some of the things that will affect your finances at Uni.
Money and borrowing
The best borrowing option for most students is a government-backed student loan.
- You can apply for a maximum of two loans in any academic year: one for tuition fees and one to cover the cost of living.
- These loans do not need to be repaid until the student has left university and is earning at least £21,000.
Many high street banks offer interest-free overdrafts on student accounts.
- Be sure to shop around for the best available deal, there are some good comparison websites for this purpose.
- Be careful about credit cards with 0% deals as these will not last forever and charges can quickly become unmanageable.
- When you’re borrowing money, it’s important to understand how much the different options cost and how they work.
- You also need to know how those costs vary depending on how long you want to borrow the money. The Money Advice Service’s article Deciding on the best type of credit for you explains this well.
Parents / Family
Whilst a key part of ‘uni is to ‘stand on your own two feet’, borrowing from your parents or family can be a good way of meeting unexpected expenses and tidying you over to the ‘summer job’. This should be explored before looking at any higher cost lending options.
- For more information see Martin Lewis’s article Student Loans Mythbusting.
Other loans are available to students, however, these should only be considered if you have the income to pay them off. It can be tempting to get additional money, but if you start missing payments this will damage your credit history and make it more difficult and expensive to get loans/credit/ mobile phones/utility company contracts in the future. See
If you already have a poor credit history, have explored all your options and decide a loan is still required, we are a comparison website for guarantor loans, a type of loan that is typically cheaper than other bad credit type loans.
For more information and for no-obligation quotes > click here
A part-time job
There are two options available in terms of part-time work and the most suitable will depend on your circumstances and university workload.
- If you have to spend most of the day studying, you would probably be better to work during the holidays.
- This is something you could arrange before they go away so they don’t spend valuable time job hunting when you return.
If your workload is a little lighter, you may be able to work during the term-term? As this allows more flexibility, this may give you more choice when finding work.
- There are a number of pros and cons associated with taking a part-time job as a student, click here to find out what they are.
There are some things that unfortunately we all have to pay for whether we like it or not.
Remember to use comparison websites to find the right deal for your circumstances if you can. These expenses will include:
- Insurance for personal belongings
- Car insurance if they intend to use a car while away
- TV License
- Mobile phone and broadband
It might be worth investing in a 16-25 Railcard if you think your son/daughter will be using trains for travel. This can save significant amounts of money even if it’s only for a relatively small number of journeys. Similarly, some bus companies offer student discounts so be sure to do some local research.
- Save The Student offer a number of great money-saving tips. Click here to see what they are.
Food and shopping
For many students, this will be the first time that they will be responsible for buying (and cooking) their own food. There are lots of ways to save money, most of which you probably already know but to give you a few ideas:
- Sign up for supermarket cards: Nectar, Tesco Clubcard, Boots Advantage, etc. are an easy way to earn rewards.
- Shop later in the day to take advantage of reduced prices on fresh products.
- Share cooking responsibilities with housemates. It’s generally much easier, and cheaper, to cook for more than one person.
- Where possible buy your own brand or ‘basic’ products.
- Use coupons and vouchers as often as possible.
- Beware of ‘special offers’; often they really aren’t that special and we end up spending more money on things we don’t really need.
Student Job has more great shopping tips – https://www.studentjob.co.uk/blog/3539-student-budget-top-tips-for-cutting-your-shopping-bill
You’ll be amazed at how many places offer student discounts for anything from haircuts to clothes to cinema tickets, so make sure you have your National Union of Students (NUS) card to hand at all times.
- See some of these great “11 student discount tricks“
- The Money Advice Service’s comprehensive guide on Student and graduate money.
Thanks for reading
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