How to make the most of your student loan, save money on accommodation and going out
From dealing with the Student Loan Company to part-time jobs, shared house politics and cheap cinema, this is the essential money-saving guide for university.
Student loans are a great place to start because they pay for your education and much of your living costs.
We've put together a jargon-free guide on how to get a student loan and how to pay it back. It also details extra Government help you can get and differences in various parts of the UK.
It's worth a look because where you come from and where you study could make you eligible for thousands of pounds in grants, which don't need to be paid back. Don't forget that you may be eligible for Government benefits.
If you're considering postgraduate or even PhD study, there are now Government loans for those as well. Read more about them here.
Help from parents
In many cases, your student loan won't stretch far enough, so it's worth asking your parents if they can help.
In fact, the Maintenance Loan you'll receive is calculated under the assumption that wealthier parents will help their children with costs.
We've got an expert financial planner to put together a guide for your parents on different ways they can help, which you can read and share with them here.
Working as a student
Getting a job is by far the best way to stay afloat and could strengthen your CV for when you graduate.
If you're lacking in inspiration, check out our piece on 10 ways to make money beyond the usual bar and cafe jobs.
Don't get ripped off: being a student shouldn't stop you getting paid at least the minimum wage for your age. Find out what you should be paid here.
Also, keep an eye out for the taxman. Being a student gives you an exemption from some taxes but not all, and not being aware won't get you off the hook.
Student bank accounts and credit cards
Have you got the same bank account you had as a child?
Ditching it, and getting a proper student bank account, could save you a small fortune.
That's because student bank accounts have interest-free overdrafts, which allow you to borrow money for emergencies without paying interest, although you will have to pay the money back.
Plus they have perks including Amazon vouchers, free railcards and NUS cards.
You can see our guide to the best student bank accounts here.
If you need to borrow more a student credit card could be an option, but read this first. Used properly a student credit card can help you build up a credit profile, which is really useful later on, but used wrongly they'll leave you in serious trouble.
Many universities offer student hall accommodation for your first year, but after that, you're likely to be on your own.
Living out is great fun, but finding a place can be stressful. We've asked specialist student money site Save the Student to put together a guide to finding accommodation, saving money and avoiding scams.
Also, read this guide to shared houses, which covers everything you were too embarrassed to ask about bills, responsibilities and surprise costs.
Shopping and going out
We're not going to tell you what to do with your money – but you may as well make the most out of it.
Start with our general money saving guide which has a whole range of practical tips.
If you love the cinema, then our article on cinemas is updated with the latest deals.
Or, if you prefer restaurants, our sister site LoveFOOD has got some money-saving suggestions for dining out.
For those hosting a house party, we've got a guide to buying bargain booze.
When you graduate
It will happen eventually...when you graduate there's a whole load of other ways to save and make money.
We've put together another full guide like this one, except it's for people in their 20s. It covers everything from paying off your debts to buying your first home.
You can find our 20s money guide here.
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