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Make the most of your student loan by managing your money effectively, money saving tips with student discounts and what to do if you need financial advice or support.

Student loans

Your student maintenance loan will come into your bank account at the start of each term. It’s a large sum of money that you need to carefully budget to make sure it lasts up until your next payment. Make sure you’ve considered all the things you’ll need to pay for before your next loan instalment hits your bank account.

The best way to manage your money is with a ‘budget plan’. List your monthly income, outgoings/bills, details of income left after bills and outgoings are deducted. This will give you an idea of your monthly budget and help you keep track of your finances.

Once you have completed your budget, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do I need to cut back?
  • What are your most important outgoings that must be paid?
  • Have you allowed for savings?

Money Saving Tips

Student discountUnidays and Totum cards are a great way of saving hundreds of pounds whether it be discounts on clothing, takeaways or even your Amazon Prime account. An increasing number of bespoke discounts are now available. Whether you are purchasing something online or in store it is always worth checking to see if they offer student discounts.

Student bank accounts – There are a variety of student bank accounts available all offering a range of benefits. Depending on what you are looking for, your bank should be able to help decide which is the right account for you. Most banks will offer an incentive for opening a student account with them whether it be a cash rewards, discount cards or interest free overdrafts. Before you convert your current account into your student account be sure to see what offers are available.

Rail and coach cards – As a student, you can save up to a third on your train and bus fares. To do this you will need to purchase a young person’s rail or coach card. This should pay for itself once you have made a few journeys. This is particularly worth purchasing if you are looking to move away for university and plan on getting the coach or train home. Railcards cannot be used during peak travel times so may not be suitable for those looking to commute via train.

Rail season tickets – These are for those that are looking to commute to university, while living at home. It may work out beneficial for you to purchase a season ticket for your journeys rather than paying daily, but this will depend on how many days a week you would be traveling. Tickets can be purchased from your local train station or online.

Commuting into university – If you are moving away to university, it’s important you know how you are going to get to campus for lectures. Getting a bus or taxi everyday will be expensive, so is your accommodation within walking distance? Or could you cycle there instead?

Money worries

University can almost be as cheap or as expensive as you make it – you live to your means. Everyone is in the same boat, so don’t feel like you’re the only one who is counting the pennies – it’s all part of the university experience!

If you find yourself to be struggling financially

Speak to your university – usually the Student Services team will have hardship funding available. They may loan you money to pay for what you need until your next student loan payment comes in. Sometimes this is a grant that you don’t need to repay, but sometimes this is a loan that you pay back to the university when you can.

The university would rather support you than have you struggle and potentially leave, so make sure you tell them straight away if you find yourself struggling.

If you have a problem with your student finance

Sometimes mistakes happen and payments don’t reach you when expected, or there may be a delay in processing your application. If this happens, you can:

  • Speak to Student Finance. You can contact them using whatever method you prefer:
  • Telephone 03001000607
  • Live chat – when you log in to your account

Speak to your university – particularly if there’s a delay in your loan coming through. Update them with what Student Finance have said, as often they’re completely fine with waiting for your tuition fee payment, or even accommodation payments, as this is something that they will deal with often! While it can feel like a big deal to you, and it does need sorting out, it is something universities deal with daily.


Last updated: 15th July 2024

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