As a student, your financial situation can be difficult, especially if you are receiving the minimum loan amount from the Student Loans Company. If you are struggling to pay for all of your essentials such as rent, energy, and food bills, here is a comprehensive list of the best ways that you can try to boost your finances and help you to have money to enjoy your time at university.
1. Take Out a Short Term Loan
If you are struggling for money until the next student loan pay-out, then you should consider taking out a short term loan that you can then repay when your student finance comes in. This is a great option for those who are concerned that going into their overdraft will leave them with a poor credit score or will damage their finances in the coming months. Cash Lady allows students to borrow over a shorter period of 3-12 months with short term loans between £100-2000. This can help to support you during your time as a student without affecting your financial situation as a graduate, with the ability to pay this off as soon as you leave university.
2. Apply for a Maintenance Grant
Maintenance grants were scrapped in 2016 for all students. If you started your course before August 1st 2016, you might be able to apply for a maintenance grant which is based on your parent’s income. Through this, you can receive up to £3,475 if your parent’s joint income is below £19,203, or a partial amount if your parent’s income is over £19,203. Unlike maintenance loans, which are paid to you by the government, these grants do not have to be repaid and go straight into your bank account to help with your accommodation and living expenses. If you fall under additional circumstances such as if your parents receive housing benefit, you may also be able to apply for a Special Support grant.
3. Visit your University’s Student Finance Team
Most universities have an established student finance support team who can help you to solve problems if you are struggling to get the right amount of student finance, are struggling to pay for bills or rent or want additional advice on how to budget appropriately for your lifestyle. Universities may also have schemes which can give students additional hardship grants which can provide them with extra support if they can show evidence of their difficult financial situation.
4. Get a Student Bank Account
If you regularly struggle with your finances, such as going into your overdraft, you should opt for a student bank account which helps to cater to the needs and problems of students. Most good student bank accounts will have extensive overdrafts that are completely interest-free, meaning that you will not have to pay extensive costs from going into your overdraft and the amount that you owe will not increase until you repay it.
5. Use Student Discounts
For small purchases such as clothing and food to larger expenses such as train travel and flights, student discounts can be a lifeline for students, offering extensive reductions on a vast array of products and services. To take advantage of these discounts, you must have a valid student ID card, and many students choose to sign up to Unidays or apply for an NUS card.