That Big Spending Bug
When your first student loan arrives, it can be easily over spent on costs associated with the beginning of term. Just remember than this money has to last up to 11 weeks (plus your vacation) until your next instalment. If you have a savings account, it might be useful to transfer some or all of this money to this account, then set up at standing order to your student account which transfers an allowance each week/month to help you budget.
Your Student Account
There are a variety of comparison sites which will be able to provide you with up-to-date student account offers. Some students are put off by the idea of an overdraft debt but the truth is that most students will need the benefits of an interest free overdraft whilst they are studying, even if just for the last few weeks of term if you find yourself short or for your vacation ticket home. Interest free overdrafts can be manageable if you stay within your agreed limit, they should only be used for emergencies and not used as extra funding. Just ensure you choose the right account for you and don’t be mislead by the freebees and gifts that are on offer with some accounts.
Some banks offer the upgrading of your student account to a graduate account after you have graduated. Ask your bank about this as the graduate account can save you £100’s and can offer an interest free overdraft for up to 3 years, as well as other benefits which can help you in the transition from University to graduate employment.
Credit cards can be extremely difficult to manage as a full-time student, without a level of income capable of keeping up with the payments. If you are struggling financially and considering taking out a credit card or payday loan, the Financial Support Team at Cardiff University may be able to advise you on an alternative. The University has hardship funds and charities which may be able to help you. These awards are paid to students as non-repayable grants and will go a lot further in helping you get on top of your financial situation.
Payday loans are dangerous business, they can have an APR of over 4000%. If you were to borrow £200 to be repaid after 31 days, you would have to repay around £270 back to the loan provider. That's if you can afford it, if you go beyond the agreed loan period, what initially started as a small loan can easily lead to a debt spiral. If you are considering taking out a payday loan please speak to an advisor at the Student Support Centre first as the University may be able to provide you with a more viable option to help you through your money worries.
Money saving snippet:
A student rail card can save you 30% on your travel costs.