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Money worries

If you are worrying about money, there are lots of ways that you can find help and support. On this page, we list some common areas that may cause money worries and where you can seek help.

Debts

If you are worrying about debt, it can be hard to know where to go. Take pressure off yourself and ask for free and confidential advice from a debt adviser. Seeking debt advice does not affect your credit score. Speaking to a debt adviser may help you feel less stressed and more in control of your life.

There is no obligation to follow their advice but support is free, fully regulated, and can help provide an objective opinion on your situation.

Debt advisers:

  • are sympathetic and happy to talk you about any debt problem while providing objective advice
  • will provide different ways to solve a problem, even if you have no spare money
  • are able to see if you could benefit from a ‘debt breathing space‘ to give you time to take control of your money and provide a break from constant repayment requests

More information can be found online

Bank charges

If you are worried or concerned about bank charges, we have some useful tips for you online.

Find out more about bank charges

Delay with student finance

If your Student Finance is delayed, we recommend that you first check the status of your Student Finance application. If you need support, we can help you to do this. Visit our homepage for details of how to get in touch.

It is also a good idea to check your eligibility for a 0% authorised overdraft on a student bank account.

Managing your money

Emergency short term support, as a contribution towards your living costs, may be available if your funding is delayed during your first term. You will need to make a appointment with the team and provide: 

  • your student ID
  • access to your previous month’s bank statement and current balance
  • evidence of your bank account details

Universal Credit (UC)

Some students are eligible for Universal Credit while studying at university. If you are claiming UC it is worth checking with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) directly for information on how your claim will change whilst studying at university.

You will have to submit your full Student Finance entitlement letter when applying for UC to allow them to recalculate your UC payments. Please note that you may receive an overpayment for the first month whilst the UC is reassessing you as a student.

You might want to check the following with the DWP:

  • That only the student finance maintenance and loan, and if eligible, the Adult Dependants’ Grant are being considered.
  • If your student finance entitlement letter mentions that you are eligible for this, that they are disregarding the Special Support Element.
  • That they calculate your UC for you during the months of the academic year that you are studying as a student, including 9, 10 or 12 months.
  • That a small amount of monthly disregard income has been considered.

Utility bills

The Energy Price Guarantee

The UK government has until April 2023 to put together some help on the soaring price of energy bills by their Energy Price Guarantee. This scheme offers a maximum daily fee and a maximum cost per energy unit used. Please note this is per household and there is no maximum energy bill so if households use less bills will be less and if use more, people will pay more.

Find out more from Help for Households

The £400 energy bill discount

The UK government will subsidise a flat rate total of £400 per household commencing in October 2022 and into 2023. Payments are normally received into the bill holders bank account or more commonly by bills credited utility bills in by, £66 or £67 each month from October 22 to March 23.

Money saving expert

Bill splitting deals for shared houses

Many shared households consider using bill Splitting Package or agent to help organise household utility bills. Before signing up to a particular package it is always worth checking all the terms and conditions and in particular paying attending to any hidden management and exit fees. With energy price rise is important to check the for rules on any potential ‘catch-up bill’ if a household exceeds an annual allowance. Most quotes are based on estimated consumption and not the amount of resident use, so it’s always worth checking how suggested prices are estimated. As always shop around and check all terms and conditions.

Find out more from Save the Student Further advice on the Guardian

Private rental costs

When looking to rent a property privately, it is important to take your time and really shop around. One of the main concerns for students is budgeting for a damage deposit and checking to see if the rental contract includes a summer retainer.

Letting fees

Shelter and Money Saving Expert have information on fees that letting agents and landlords can charge and those that have been outlawed.

Housing benefit

If you claim Personal Independence Payment (PIP) or Disability Living Allowance (DLA), you might be entitled to housing benefit. Visit the Shelter website for more information and advice.

Car insurance

With car insurance, it is important to get quotes from a number of providers using three or more price comparison websites. Remember that comparison sites do not always feature the same deals and insurers – in fact, a few insurers do not even appear on price comparison sites so it is worth checking with them directly. When you find a deal, contact your existing insurer and ask if they could match or even improve on the deal you have found.

Money Saving Expert has some general tips for reducing car insurance costs.

Always check the terms and conditions as policies can differ in various ways.

Less experienced drivers

If you are a less experienced driver car insurance can be expensive if you don’t shop around and do some research.

Young and less experienced drivers may be able to reduce potentially high insurance costs by considering a few suggestions from Money Saving Expert, for example a more experienced second driver, and ways to reduce the costs of an MOT.

Travel and placement costs

Petrol costs

If you are travelling by car on a regular basis, you can register on this petrol prices website to find the cheapest petrol stations in your area.

Car sharing and other information

Edge Hill has information on travel, including an option of car sharing with the benefit of reserved parking.

Train and bus travel costs

Many students incur high travel costs by regularly travelling to university and placements by train or bus. When you receive your Student Finance payment, it might be worth considering paying for a weekly or monthly season ticket to help reduce overall costs.

For regular rail travel, take a look at this calculator from National Rail to see the potential savings you could make.

You can also find some useful tips and advice from Money Saving Expert on how to make real savings on rail costs.

The Trainsplit app and website are dedicated to saving you money on your train tickets by using a technique called ‘ticket splitting’.

Claim back travel costs to placements

Certain courses have placements as an integral part of their course. Normally eligibility depends on the course type and if the distance of travel to the placement is greater than travelling to the University campus.

For education placements, the faculty expense claim desk is open for expenses queries from 8:30am – 5pm. You can contact them via phone or email.

For NHS Health placements please visit the NHSBSA website to claim additional travel expenses.

Visit the NHSBSA website for more information

Mobile phone bills

It can be easy to forget about monthly charges coming out of your bank account, but if you’re not careful you can rack up costly mobile phone bills by the end of the year. Deals change so shop around using three or more comparison sites before you commit to a phone contract.

See the Money Advice Service website for more guidance on how to save money on your mobile phone bill and also check Money Saving Expert for more advice.

Ofcom the communications regulator also has some useful information if you’re having difficulty paying a bill.

Gambling worries

GamCare helps problem gamblers as well as their friends and families by working directly with problem gamblers, providing advice over the phone and online or through face-to-face counselling. GamCare also have an education and prevention team working to raise awareness and prevent problem gambling before it starts.

Best way for students to access GamCare

The best way for you to access the services is either through the Freephone helpline or through the ‘Netline’ service which provides a live chat with an adviser. The Netline opens in a chat window which is totally private and secure. The adviser is a trained member of GamCare who will be able to give advice about gambling and may be able to help by putting you in touch with a local face-to-face counsellor.

Wellbeing support

The Wellbeing team can support you with a variety of issues that may be impacting on your wellbeing.

Visit the Wellbeing team