What can go wrong

Hopefully, there'll be far more good things about your time at uni than bad, but things can go wrong. Be aware of these potential problems so that you can prepare for them.

You overspend

Overspending is the easiest way to run out of money. It's simple maths: if you spend more than you have coming in, your bank balance can only go in one direction.

As a student, it's easy to overspend because you don't have a big income in the first place, and if you spend too much early in the year it can be hard to make up the difference later, so it's important to be aware of the danger.

You have an emergency

However frugal you are, there's always a chance that something expensive could happen: a broken laptop, or an unexpected trip home. Don't assume that these things won't happen to you, because they can happen to anyone.

Your loan doesn't arrive

Your student loan and grant are your main source of income as a student. Unfortunately, things can go wrong, either because of a mistake on your application or an error by the Student Loans Company.

Remember that a problem won't necessarily mean your loan isn't paid: if something goes wrong with the income-assessed part, you might only get the basic loan. When your loan confirmation comes in, check that you've received as much as you're supposed to.

You have to repeat a year

If you need to repeat a year for any reason, it can cause trouble with your finances, especially if you stop one year partway through. You won't be able to keep claiming your loan if you are taking a break from your studies. However, you can claim an extra year of loans and grants if you need to repeat a year.

You get into debt

Borrowing money can seem like an easy way out of trouble, but it can put you in a whole lot more. Credit card debt can spiral out of control if you don't pay it off quickly, while payday loans should be avoided as they charge extremely high interest and can lead to extra fees if you don't manage to pay them off quickly.