Managing your finances after studies

Working out what you can afford

If you’ve got less than you need, see where you can cut back. Any non-essential spending, such as gym membership or magazine subscriptions, are far less important than bills and food, so see if you can cancel them without being penalised.

If you have more money coming in than you are spending, that’s great – but don’t stop there. Start putting money aside to prepare for emergencies, or to go towards bigger purchases like holidays.

Getting a graduate account

Your student account probably came with some advantages, but you won’t be able to keep it once you finish studying. Shop around  for a graduate account with interest free overdrafts to avoid high fees.

Paying back Student Loans

The earliest you will have to start repaying your student loan is the 6th April after you leave university or college. Even then, you don’t have to start repaying your student loan until your income reaches a certain level. How much that is depends on when you started your studies.

Interest will be charged on what you owe. If you lose your job or get paid less, you stop repaying until you hit the threshold.

How to prioritise your debts

If you’ve got further debts from your time studying, such as credit cards or bank loans, you’re probably paying high interest rates on the debt. The quicker you clear them, the less you’ll pay overall.

But if you are struggling to make ends meet, it’s important to know which bills and debts to pay first. Rent and Council Tax, so you don’t lose your home, and energy bills, so you don’t get cut off, should be a priority. Only when they’re cleared should you start on the credit cards or overdrafts.

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