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Practical tips to help you improve your credit rating and avoid expensive high interest loans

Student Money Tips

An image of students sat round a table

Started back at university in September and having money concerns?

We look at some of the things you can do to help your finances at Uni.


Money and borrowingAn image of lots of English money

Student Loan

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.

Interest-free overdrafts

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. Click here for more on this.

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.

Other Loans

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.

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 get some no-obligation quotes, click here.

A part-time jobAn image of a barista

There are two options available in terms of part-time work and the most suitable will depend on your circumstances and university workload.

Holiday jobs

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.

Term-time jobs

If your workload is a little lighter, you may be able to work during the term-term? As this allow 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.

Unavoidable expensesAn image of an expenses word cloud

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
  • Travel

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 shoppingAn image of a supermarket

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 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


Student discounts

You’ll be amazed 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.


More Info

  • The Money Advice Service has put together a comprehensive guide to help with many different aspects of student financial life, but here is a summary of budgeting and borrowing tips.

 

Clare McDonald
Clare McDonald
As a mother of two, Clare knows the importance of being careful with money, so writes posts from personal experience.Clare also loves to find great deals, so shares her finding here.

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