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.
- COVID-19 financial updates
- Bank charges
- Delays to Student Finance
- Universal Credit
- Private rental costs
- Car insurance
- Travel costs
- Mobile phone costs
- Gambling worries
- General wellbeing support
COVID-19 Financial Updates
If you are worried about paying monthly bills such as mortgages, overdrafts and credit cards, the following links provide the latest guidance. The important thing to remember is that you must contact your provider first before you can access help. It won’t be automatic, but help is there. Please try online first as call centres are currently very busy. Please see the links below for more information.
- Money Saving Expert and the Money Advice Service have advice on mortgages, credit cards, car finance and new help on overdraft charges.
- Information on possible help with car finance.
- Shelter’s update on private rental payments.
- Government information on the new three month notice period.
- Advice on energy debts can be found on the Citizens Advice website and United Utilities have information on water bills.
The government has announced it will contribute towards certain employees’ wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme if a business is forced to temporarily close because of COVID-19. The Money Advice Service and Citizens Advice have useful information on their websites.
Looking for Part-Time Work?
The Careers team have useful information and advice about part-time work on their webpages.
During this period, charitable and educational grants are being constantly updated. A good starting point would be to search the Turn2Us database which includes a range of possible grants to match your situation.
If you are worrying about debt, it can be hard to know where to go. A good idea would be to take some pressure off yourself and ask for free and confidential advice from a debt adviser. Seeking debt advice does not affect your credit score and speaking to a debt adviser may help you feel less stressed and more in control of your life once again.
There is no obligation to follow their advice but support is free, fully regulated and can help provide an objective opinion on your situation.
- 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.
Step Change – online chat and phone support with a follow-up service.
National Debt Line – online chat and phone support with a follow-up service.
Christians Against Poverty (CAP) – if you’re having problems with complex debt, Christians Against Poverty might be able to help. After an initial phone call, they can offer a face-to-face service and help with debt and the emotional issues that can often come with it. You don’t have to be a Christian to access this service.
Citizens Advice – phone support and face-to-face help at one of their advice centres.
If you are worried or concerned about bank charges, we have some useful tips on our Banking and Budgeting webpage.
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. Find out more on our Banking and Budgeting webpage.
An emergency short term loan, as a contribution towards your living costs, may be available if your funding is delayed during your first term. You will need to provide:
- Your student ID card
- Access to your previous month’s bank statement and current balance
- Your bank card
Some students are eligible for Universal Credit (UC) 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, e.g. 9, 10 or 12 months
- that a small amount of monthly disregard income has been considered.
For further information on all of the above, visit the gov.uk website.
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.
Tips and Advice
The Edge Hill Accommodation team have helpful information on renting privately on their webpages.
Shelter has tips and advice on private accommodation specifically for students.
Money Saving Expert has put together a list of over 50 tips to help you rent a home cheaply and safely.
If you claim PIP or DLA, you might be entitled to Housing Benefit. Visit the Shelter website for more information and advice.
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.
Always check the terms and conditions as policies can differ in various ways.
Money Saving Expert has some general tips for reducing car insurance costs.
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, e.g. a more experienced second driver, and ways to reduce the costs of an MOT.
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 is greater than travelling to Edge Hill.
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.
Ofcom the communications regulator also has some useful information if you’re having difficulty paying a bill.
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.
How to contact
Phone: 0808 8020 133
Netline text chat service.
The Wellbeing team can support you with a variety of issues that may be impacting on your wellbeing. Visit the Wellbeing webpages for information on how to get in touch.