Don't Rush the Cash: Tips on Managing Your Student Loan

Heading off to university life is a big step for you. It's the time where you can experience independence but learn responsibility at the same time. It's a positive experience that can help you attain fundamental life values and also leave you with lifelong friends in the process.

You're not the only one who's interested in earning an undergraduate degree. In 2017, the University College London had 41, 539 students. The University of Oxford had a total number of 23, 975 enrollees, the University of Exeter had 22, 540 enrollees, and the University of York had 18, 110. 

During this year, the number of eighteen-year-old students who obtained higher education reached a record-high increase of 0.7 percentage points. This increase shows that a lot of students want to earn their degree. However, it doesn't mean that it's going to be accessible for all, particularly in terms of finance. 

In England, 16 billion pounds is loaned to 1 million students yearly. This amount shows that a lot of students need help in paying off their university tuition. It falls to either applying for financial aid from institutions or getting a student loan. If you're getting a loan, read on to learn more about how to manage your money from the student loan and how to spend it wisely.

  • Get to know your loan

Do you know what kind of loan are you getting? If you don't, it's better to do your research first. If you're not applying for a personal loan, you can apply for a student loan from the government. However, you have to check if you're eligible.

You have to check if your chosen university offers degree courses, which is also known as a recognized body. If it can't award you with a recognized degree, it's called a listed body. When it comes to your degree, not all courses will make you eligible for a loan. You have to make sure that you enrol in a recognized course for student loans. 

If you're not a first-time university student, you can still get limited funding given that you meet the requirements. There's no age restriction for the UK, but you have to be a citizen or have lived in the UK for three years before enrollment to avail of the student loan.

If you're eligible, you can apply either for a tuition fee or maintenance loans. Tuition fee loans will cover your tuition and other university fees. You can borrow up to £9,250 per year for public schools and £6,165 for private ones. Maintenance loans are meant to cover your living expenses, and you can borrow up to  £10,702.

  • Plan ahead on your payment options

There are several ways on how to pay off your student loans. You should plan, though, so you can explore more options. Do know that your payment option is based on your income and not on the amount that you borrowed. The Students Loan Company manages your payments.

The repayment will begin once you earn a salary that's above the repayment threshold. If your salary changes, your payment will adjust at the same time. Get a  lower wage than the limit, and your repayment will stop until you can earn more than that. If you're working, your employer will automatically deduct your repayment amount. If you're self-employed, you can pay for it along with your tax. 

  • Keep track of your borrowed cash

If you're getting several loans, make sure to keep track of all the money that you're borrowing. Make a list of your daily or monthly expenses and store them somewhere accessible at all times, such as cloud storage. 

Another way to help you with your finances is through phone apps. Grant Fairy is an excellent choice for students because it has an extensive list of scholarships and grants offered by foundations and even universities. You only have to pay £4.99 monthly or £23.99 yearly. It makes everything more comfortable for you, as you can search for financial aid for your studies.

When it comes to budgeting money, Plum can help you track down your spending pattern. You link your bank account to the app, and it will show you how much cash you can save. You can also program the app on the amount of money that you want to keep, and it can help you achieve your goal. 

  • Create a long-term budget

Once you get a personal loan, you know how much money will come your way. Check your record and make a budget. You can create one for your daily needs, or it's better if you know how much you spend in a month. 

Make sure that the things included in your budget are things that you need. Don't spend too much on unnecessary costs, such as shopping or nights out with friends. Maintain a frugal lifestyle throughout your university life, and paying off your loan might be easier to do.

It doesn't mean that you can't have fun. You can still go out or buy a thing or two sometimes. If you know that you tend to spend on things, you can include that in your budget. However, manage your money carefully, so you don't end up borrowing a lot of cash during your university days.

  • Look for ways to earn money

Yes, you have money from your student loan. However, it doesn't mean that you don't need to think of ways to make extra cash on the side. One way to manage your student loan is by not getting all of your expenses from that cash. You could look for ways to make money, mainly if you applied for the maintenance loan or even a personal loan. 

You can do online tasks, share online deals, install apps, answer surveys, listen to music, do mystery shopping, or even sell stuff online. You can do various things online to earn money. Just make sure that it's a legitimate operation and stay away from anything shady. 

If you don't trust the internet, you can start a small business if you have the money. You can also get a part-time job if you have extra time. Do tutorial jobs if you know how to play the piano, or you're an excellent Math student. 

Takeaway

Money matters will always be a complicated thing, and this applies to student loans as well. It doesn't have to be that hard to manage, though. You need to familiarize yourself with your loan, keep track of the money that you get, plan on repayment options, budget your money wisely, and find ways to earn more money so you won't have to rely on your loan alone.

Author Bio:

Tiffany Wagner is a full-time content writer and curator who works for various websites. Her knack for finance, real estate, and business management is evident to her written works. When she's not writing, Tiffany usually spends her time sipping a cappuccino in her favorite shop while playing Sudoku.

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