Know your pay day




Tip 1: Know your payday!

student finance

What’s the difference between these two loans? The majority of UK students apply for both types; but you can apply for one or none at all. You need to work out which is best for you.

  • Tuition Fee Loan – You never really see this money. It goes straight to the university to cover your course fees up to £9,250 a year.
  • Maintenance Loan – This one you definitely see! It goes directly into your bank account to help you manage your living costs i.e. rent, food and transport. It can be as high as £12,667 per year, although it’s usually much lower than this. You could receive as little as £3,597 per year.


Short answer – it depends! The loans are means tested – so it is calculated according to your household income when you apply.

The lower your household income, the higher your loan amount. The amount you will receive also depends on whether you plan to live at home or live independently as well as whether you’ll be studying in or out of London, in Scotland, Wales or if any part of your course takes you abroad.

Your maintenance loan is paid three times a year. So, whatever your annual amount is, it will be divided into three parts and paid into your account at the start of each term. When you receive the first part it will seem like a lot of money – but this is to last you for an entire term. One. Whole. Term.

For more information and to calculate how much you may receive, click on the part of the UK your university is located in:

There’s a lot of negative news out there regarding loans.

If you’re borrowing for tuition fees, plus maintenance loan, it’s likely you will be borrowing a rather large sum. Yes, it is expensive to go to university – but no, your student debt   isn’t normal debt.,

You don’t pay it back until you’re earning a specific amount (currently £27,295 in England and Wales but £25,375 in Scotland and £20,195 in Northern Ireland)

Watch a clip of Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis OBE explaining this on Question Time below, then read more about student loans, and the myths that surround them here.

The average term lasts 3.5 months.

So whatever you receive at the start of the term – divide that by 3.5, or however long it is until you receive your next student loan instalment. This will give a better idea of what you can realistically spend monthly.

If you are going to live in student halls, often rent is taken at the start of each term, and bills, like electricity and internet, are included in this accommodation fee. This means it’s all taken out as soon as you receive your loan, giving you a slightly better idea of what money you actually have left to spend on other aspects of your life.

You can find more budgeting info under Tip 4.

Fun Fact: The top three spends for students whilst at University are rent, food and socialising. Do you think you’ll follow the trend?

Grants , scholarships and bursaries could be available to you. There are so many weird and wonderful money boosting opportunities out there.

It’s certainly worth some research to get some free money where you can! Do you have the surname Graham? Are you vegetarian? Are you an avid gamer? Yes, to any of these can make you eligible for grants, currently offered to students.  Try searching using Scholarship Portal or Scholarship Hub to see if you are eligible.

Jobs: 76% of students work to support themselves. Brush up your CV and start applying. Make sure you’re being paid at least the National Minimum Wage! As an extra little tip – see if there are any Living Wage employers recruiting in your area, they could help your payday become more substantial!

Zero-Hour Contracts: These are flexible jobs that allow you to decide your hours and when/where you want to work. However, it might not always mean regular money. Big brands that use zero hours include JD Wetherspoons, Cineworld, Boots, McDonalds, Sports Direct and the National trust! You may find them more regularly in ‘gig economy’ work – such as delivering takeaway food or stewarding events. 

Tutoring: If you did well on your exams or are a whizz in a subject, you could tutor other students or help them with their personal statement through websites like My Tutor.

Love animals: Miss having your own furry friends? Through websites like Cat in a Flat or Borrow my Doggy, you can link with pet owners looking for help caring for pets while at work or on holiday.


Know your pay day





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