Entering the world of higher education can be daunting for all sorts of reasons. The money side of things is a big one. You need to make sure you’ve got a student loan in place for your tuition fees and that you’ve got enough to live on for the year ahead. You’ll be sorting out accommodation and setting a weekly budget. But don’t worry, this is all part and parcel of the university experience. Here are a few tips to help you out.
1. Plan ahead
Consider your finances early and put your application in for your government student loan as soon as you can. You don’t need a confirmed place to do so. The whole system can get pretty busy over the summer and you don’t want to be chasing up your tuition fee payments come September when your priority should be settling in to your course. If the government loans aren’t enough – and for many people, they’re not – you can always apply for a Future Finance loan to help towards your tuition fees or living expenses.
2. Don’t max out on maintenance
Tuition fees are non-negotiable, but you might be able to manage your living costs so that you don’t need to take out the full maintenance loan. Remember, it’s not free money – you’ll need to pay it back with interest. If you can live on less, great. It pays to budget and only borrow what you need.
3. Look long term
Getting a good degree can really boost your future earning potential. So do your homework on the kind of salary you might expect in years to come. It’ll help you figure out how much debt you can afford to get into now and when you’ll be able to pay it back.
4. Don’t stress
Yes, you’re accruing a debt – perhaps for the first time in your life – and the seemingly mountainous sums can be scary. But this is your pathway to a brilliant, successful and enriched career. Think of it as an investment and embrace the opportunity.
5. And don’t bottle it up
If you do find your struggling to cope financially during term time, don’t suffer in silence. There are many ways and means of funding your uni education without resorting to the nastiness of payday loans and high-interest credit cards.
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