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Student Debt and Money Advice Guide

Moving away from home and managing your finances by yourself for the first time can be a daunting prospect. But don’t panic, we’re here to help.

Our practical advice will help you make sure you have the essentials covered and still enjoy your time at university. If you're struggling with your finances we will give you all the free debt help you need.  

Download our student debt guide, or browse through the guide using the navigation on the left hand side.

Paying your bills           

Before you spend all your money on wild nights out, you need to take care of more important things (admittedly they’re less interesting, but trust us, they’re definitely more important).

One of the best ways to organise your money is to open a basic bank account. You can then put the money you need to pay things like your rent, fuel bills, TV licence and phone bills into this account and set up Direct Debits to make sure they are paid.

Whatever money you have left over can then be kept in your normal account to cover things like beer, takeaways and parties (and maybe the odd train ticket home). 

To work out what you need to put aside to cover your bills read our budgeting guide

exclamation mark Important to remember

Because you get your student loan in large instalments, you’ll need to save enough money to cover all of your bills until your next instalment comes through. 

Living with friends

If you’re living with friends you’ll normally have to pay your bills together. If this is the case it can be useful to work out exactly what each of you needs to put in to make sure all of the household bills are covered.

We know this isn’t the most exciting task but spending an hour doing this at the start of the term will save a lot of heated debates and arguments throughout the rest of the semester (a lot of us know this from experience!). 

Remember that as well as paying these costs you'll also need to budget for things like your food shopping and mobile phone. 

Your bank account

As a student, most of the high street banks will offer you a 0% interest overdraft along with some free perks thrown in. Don't just apply for the first one you see, make sure you get the best deal for you.

Check your balance regularly

Keep an eye on your money by checking your bank balance regularly. The easiest way to do this is with online banking or by using text alerts. It's really important that you do this so you can:

  • make sure you have enough money to cover your Direct Debits and bills,
  • avoid going over your overdraft limit and incurring bank charges,
  • check you're not paying for services you're not using, and
  • keep an eye out for fraudulent transactions.

Helping you become debt free...

“I wish to thank your staff for all the great help they gave me when I was in so much debt.
They were a pillar of support to me.” (Leslie, Essex)

Foundation for Credit Counselling Wade House, Merrion Centre, Leeds, LS2 8NG trading as StepChange Debt Charity and StepChange Debt Charity Scotland. A registered charity no.1016630 and SC046263. It is a limited company registered in England and Wales (company no:2757055). Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

*This is the average rating of our service on Feefo by DMP and DRO clients three months into their solution.

© StepChange Debt Charity 2016