What you can do

Check you've got what you're entitled to

If your loan hasn't arrived, or you haven't been paid as much as you're entitled to, you'll find yourself short of money quickly. Check your loan confirmation and your bank account: make sure that they match up, and that it's as much as you expected. If anything looks wrong, get in touch with the Student Loans Company to get it checked. Your university's student services should also be able to help you.

Review your budget

When you're in a hole, the first thing to do is stop digging. If you've already created a budget, then look back over it and work out what went wrong. If you haven't, then it's time to make one. This will help you to work out how to make the money you have left stretch - and how much more you might need.

If you have expensive debts, such as credit cards, make sure you include paying these off in your budget. The sooner you can pay them, the less you'll end up spending on them overall.

Check your overdraft arrangements

If it looks like you're going to run out of money, you need to prepare for what happens when you do. If you have a student bank account, you'll probably have an interest-free overdraft up to a certain limit. Make sure that you know what the arrangements are and you've checked them with your bank, especially if your overdraft has to be renewed every year.

Remember that you shouldn't rely on your overdraft day-to-day - but it can be a safety net when things go wrong.

Apply for a hardship fund

If you're in severe trouble and you're worried that you might need to leave your course, there is money set aside to help. Universities offer hardship students students they think are at risk of dropping out for financial reasons. It can be given as a grant or as a loan - for example, if your student loan is late, you might be lent money to keep you going until it arrives.

To find out about your university's hardship fund and apply, contact your university's student services department.

Ask for help

Money problems can be embarrassing, but they happen to most people at some point. Don't be afraid to ask for help and advice from family, friends and your university's student services department if you need it.