One of the stereotypes of university is that you’ll have absolutely no money. Of course, this isn’t always true, but money can be a big concern for some students. Often, students get so excited about getting their student loan that they forget it needs to last them until April and spend it all in one go. This leaves them with about £3.50 to last the term, which can be very stressful. So we’ve compiled a list of what to do if you run out of money at university.
1. See if you can set up a student overdraft
Most student bank accounts offer a student overdraft of some sort. These are often interest-free and fee-free, so you can borrow from them without stressing about it multiplying and coming back to bite you.
If you’ve not set up a student bank account, or you’ve yet to set up the overdraft, consider doing so to help tide you over to the next paycheck or student loan. Just be aware that it may feel like free money, but you will eventually have to pay it back! Check out which banks offer overdrafts here.
2. See if you can expand your student overdraft
If you have used up your overdraft too, it may be possible to extend it. Banks like Barclays offer the chance to expand your student overdraft if you fit certain credit-based criteria. Pop into your local branch or give them a call to determine if this is an option for you.
3. Check if your university offers hardship funds
A lot of universities are aware of their students’ lack of financial awareness. To support you through this, many of them will have hardship funds set up. These will be for students in financial hardship, and usually, institutions will decide how much to give you based on your situation. Most of the time, you don’t have to pay these back.
You might qualify for these types of funds if you have children, financial commitments, a low-income family, a disability, care commitments or home hardships.
4. Make sure you make a budget
If you’re at the bottom of the barrel, then maybe consider setting up a budget to carry you over to the next student loan or paycheck. Include all your incoming and outgoings, and make sure you’re realistic. For example, if you know that your flatmates go out every Monday, don’t budget yourself a tenner spending money each week because you’re setting yourself up to overspend! The golden rule of budgeting is: be honest.
5. Check if you’re eligible for a bursary or scholarship
Just like many universities have hardship funds, a lot of them also have bursaries and scholarships available to students. The bursaries can be done two ways; sometimes, the information is sent to the uni from student finance, and they allocate bursaries that way, and other times you have to apply for them yourself. Check with your student union or tutor to see if these are available!
Likewise, scholarships are often done automatically, but it may be worth enquiring with your university finance or support team to see if there are any on offer. For more information on how scholarships work, check out this article.
6. Make sure you know your renter’s rights
If you’ve run out of cash before you’ve forked out for rent, be sure to read up on your renter’s rights. You need to know what landlords and agents can and can’t do. Check out the Citizen’s Advice website or pop along to their local branch for a chat.
To find out more about student’s renting rights, check out their advice here.
7. Look for part-time jobs
Perhaps the most obvious option, but a lot of students rely heavily on part-time work whilst at university. Most student cities have plenty of jobs available in retail, hospitality and even care. So if you need a top-up, it’s definitely worth using the 3 years to gain some experience for your CV.
If you’re looking for work, be sure to sign up for job-hunting sites like Indeed, Reed, and maybe even print off some CVs and pop around to the independent cafes or shops. There’s no harm in asking! Especially if you’ve run out of money at university…