An undergraduate course now costs up to $90,000 a year, meaning that most students rely on student loans to pay their fees. Student Finance England are the main provider of student finance in the UK and provide loans and grants to help with university tuition fees and living costs. There are other methods of financing, or subsidizing your time at uni, such as additional bank loans, credit cards and overdrafts. These all rely on your credit rating, so you may want look at your free credit score before applying for them, check it out here (your account must be cancelled within the first 30 days to prevent any payment leaving your bank).
Many students have some time to spare around their lectures, and getting a part time job is a great way to top up your finances whilst studying. Always ensure that your education comes first and that your employers are aware of when you can and can’t work. Bars, shops and restaurants in university towns are always keen to take on students, so ask around about part time vacancies.
Student bank accounts are available at nearly every high street bank. These accounts are offered in the hope that once you graduate and get a job you will stay. Often there are lots of deals and incentives on student bank accounts such as railcards, free insurances and discounts. Overdrafts are a key aspect of a student bank account and these are often free of charge until you graduate to help you through the financial difficulties of studying. Shop around for the best student account rather than simply choosing the same bank as all your friends, as gimmicks and offers may not be matched by the benefits of the account itself.
Credit cards are tempting as a student as sometimes your loan will not stretch far enough. If possible try to find a card with a low interest rate and always meet the repayments set out by the provider. Any credit you build up over the course of your study will affect your credit rating so be careful not to take out more than you can afford.
Whilst banks hope you will stay with them after you graduate, this is not a prerequisite, and you are free to shop around for the best graduate account deals. Graduates are highly sought after customers for high street banks, so the deals on offer are many and varied.
Getting a degree is a fantastic career move, but it is not cheap. Find out what help Student Finance England can provide, and what bank will give you the best deals before you start your course. If you need extra financial help whilst at uni don’t be afraid to borrow, but do be responsible and stick to your repayments.