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Student debt help and advice

The worry of debts that you can't afford to pay, coupled with the pressure of exams, dissertations and paying your household bills can make one of the best times of your life feel like the worst. 

If you're struggling to make the payments on credit cards, store cards or loans as well as paying your rent and buying food, you may need debt help. The longer you wait, the worse your situation will get. 

Avoid profit-making debt management companies. They may charge you fees for the advice and solutions they'll provide, money you can't afford. We can give you free, impartial help and advice.

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Resisting the temptation of too much credit

When you're studying, you're often on a very low income and have to rely on bursaries and student loans in order to cover your living costs. Sometimes it's possible to find part-time employment that works around your studies, but even with this you may still find that your money only stretches so far.

Fortunately, once you've graduated, your student loan payments won't start until you're earning above a certain salary threshold. With that said, many students are offered tempting credit products such as student overdrafts and credit cards. They may seem like a safety net at the time, but they can quickly spiral out of control if you rely on them too much.

Getting in the habit of budgeting and living within your means is key to staying out of debt. If you find that you're already in debt, help and support is available but it's really important that you don’t make your situation any worse. This means:

  • DON'T use or continue to use a credit card or a store card
  • DON'T extend your overdraft
  • DON'T take out payday loans

Things you can do to prevent yourself getting into debt

Being on a limited income means you have to be strategic in how you manage your living costs as well as your debts.

You can do this by:

  • Taking a close look at your budget to understand how much you have left over each month once you've covered your living expenses
  • Shopping around for the best deals 
  • Taking advantage of student discounts
  • Doing regular price comparisons on things such as utilities
  • Learning how to cook staple meals for the week, as this can often reduce the cost of food

I'm a student in debt - can you help me? 

If you've got into debt during your studies, or you're in danger of getting into debt, there are various ways you can get help.

Your student union can advise you on financial assistance you can apply for if you're struggling with costs such as food and living expenses.

As the UK's leading debt advice charity we provide confidential and free debt help to support so you can get your situation back on track.

Our friendly advisors can give you debt advice over the telephone. Alternatively, you can use our confidential online advice tool.