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  • FIRST POST
    • Studentdebt
    • By Studentdebt 4th Dec 19, 8:06 PM
    • 5Posts
    • 1Thanks
    Studentdebt
    Being a student in 2019
    • #1
    • 4th Dec 19, 8:06 PM
    Being a student in 2019 4th Dec 19 at 8:06 PM
    Iím going to start this by declaring that this is being written for advice, even if it mah sound like a big old moan.

    I am currently in £8,500 debt, consisting of a mix between loans and overdrafts which need to be paid by June 2020. I am a 20 year old student that works 12 hour shifts at night from Friday to Monday before returning to uni the following day. Iím in my third year and will be leaving uni in June, which is when all of my debt is due.
    These debts have come from limited funds to live and now this is taking over my ability to attend university as I take every chance I can get at over time and making extra cash to get me through the week.
    Iíve tried debt agencies, my own university and student finance to get me through, Iím now stuck.

    Please, all of you lovely people with so much advice, help?
    I never thought Iíd be this embarrassed about my life to post anonymously about huge debt that is crippling me. Any advice would be great!
Page 1
    • Sky_
    • By Sky_ 4th Dec 19, 8:13 PM
    • 412 Posts
    • 1,442 Thanks
    Sky_
    • #2
    • 4th Dec 19, 8:13 PM
    • #2
    • 4th Dec 19, 8:13 PM
    Assuming your overdrafts are on student bank accounts, they should become 'graduate accounts' when you graduate.


    Graduate accounts usually have interest free overdrafts which (sometimes) reduce a little each year for 3 or 4 years, before they become interest-charging overdrafts, so you should have a few years of working before you need to pay them all back.


    Are your loans student loans, or commercial loans? If they're the latter then I can understand that they will be expensive to manage, but it may be easier if you pay these first then focus on the overdrafts.
    • onwards&upwards
    • By onwards&upwards 4th Dec 19, 10:01 PM
    • 1,597 Posts
    • 3,189 Thanks
    onwards&upwards
    • #3
    • 4th Dec 19, 10:01 PM
    • #3
    • 4th Dec 19, 10:01 PM
    You need to post in the Ďdebt free wannabeí board, ideally.

    There will be a solution. Donít sabotage your degree for the sake of a bank! If you need to cut down on your working hours and pay back less so that you can pass your course then thatís what you will have to do. Theyíll survive.
    • peterbaker
    • By peterbaker 5th Dec 19, 1:10 AM
    • 2,952 Posts
    • 1,544 Thanks
    peterbaker
    • #4
    • 5th Dec 19, 1:10 AM
    • #4
    • 5th Dec 19, 1:10 AM
    I’m going to start this by declaring that this is being written for advice, even if it mah sound like a big old moan.

    I am currently in £8,500 debt, consisting of a mix between loans and overdrafts which need to be paid by June 2020. I am a 20 year old student that works 12 hour shifts at night from Friday to Monday before returning to uni the following day. I’m in my third year and will be leaving uni in June, which is when all of my debt is due.
    These debts have come from limited funds to live and now this is taking over my ability to attend university as I take every chance I can get at over time and making extra cash to get me through the week.
    I’ve tried debt agencies, my own university and student finance to get me through, I’m now stuck.

    Please, all of you lovely people with so much advice, help?
    I never thought I’d be this embarrassed about my life to post anonymously about huge debt that is crippling me. Any advice would be great!
    Originally posted by Studentdebt
    First, as a London university undergraduate 40 years ago who received free tuition and lived away from home almost entirely off a free local authority maintenance grant without needing to work during term time, I want to say on behalf of my generation, and successive electorates, I feel terribly embarrassed to read your story, and you should not be embarrassed to have to tell it at all. Actually I feel totally ashamed that our country treats 20 year olds in such a way that you find yourself up against it like this in your most important year. I'm guessing you are having to work at less than £10 per hour too? Dumb UK low wage economy. Dumb UK low tax economy. Dumb successive electorates treating higher education as a luxury pursuit.

    I realise that doesn't help you much, but just wanted to get it off my chest. It is not your fault. It's ours.

    As for your worry about a repayment deadline at the end of your third year, like Sky_ said, I was of the understanding that those banks that offer facilities to students usually fairly automatically extended those into the first years of working life after leaving uni. I say that in the knowledge that my son still exploits a 0% £2,000 overdraft with Santander despite having been working for 3 years now and easily being able to pay it off now when they get tired of continuing to offer it! And that was never his only bank whilst a student, and he has scarcely used the account since starting work.

    Remember that special overdraft facilities for undergraduates are an important form of promotion for the larger banks. They are hoping you turn into a rich future customer. They shouldn't be pulling the rug the moment your study ends, and I am sure if you found a fully qualified student finance adviser at a big branch (ask for exactly that) then you'd start to understand how to plan your way forward again exploiting what is on offer, perhaps from a bank you haven't tried yet. Don't waste your time with an ordinary adviser. Make sure you talk with one who has specially qualified to be instantly fluent with what each has to offer current undergraduates and those who have just completed their study. You'll probably need to telephone a central contact number and get them to make an appointment. In my day, the qualified student advisers often were shared between even the largest branches in London.

    Be prepared to take along a clear fully inclusive living costs budget with multiple expenditure headings and a note of your income and where it comes from e.g. if you expect to receive any further partial university maintenance grant or loan instalment before your study ends, as well as your expected part-time wages including overtime, and perhaps if you can say, what you hope to achieve when you finish study and hopefully can walk straight into full time work.

    So how is your current £8,500 debt broken down? Is it still increasing? I mean it might just have been feasible for a student in their third year to have cleverly built up and exploited two or three banks offers simultaneously and to be able to be borrowing that sort of money in total at 0% interest.

    They might also have checked the terms and feel confident their lender will straightforwardly carry it over for a couple of years beyond university. You don't have that confidence currently, but maybe you've overlooked something or bank(s) have sold you the wrong product(s).

    Even big banks have too few staff in branches who know how to properly deal with university undergraduates and I have seen some who plough on regardless and will sell you a bog standard loan product if the computer says yes to what they've typed in about your income - have you inadvertently been treated as a normal punter for some of the loans you've been given? 10 years ago I worked at a big bank and even that long ago, up to £3,000 interest free overdrafts on undergraduate accounts converted into graduate accounts were quite straightforwardly available.

    It perhaps isn't the time to mention it, but just to get the full picture, I take it that to add insult to injury, you have a massive Student Finance Company loan in addition to the £8,500?

    Have you obtained a free copy of your credit report? Perhaps if you have managed to service your mixed loans satisfactorily up to now you have as a by product built a good credit status which may aid you in negotiating some kind of additional or consolidation loan facility.

    You can join the Moneysavingexpert.com credit club free and get some idea of your credit score.

    If you have had a mobile phone contract for two or three years with no arrears, that also helps your credit record.

    You might be able to feel better about your chances of further borrowing if you can discover via your credit report that you have already through your hard work got the beginnings of a decent credit status.

    Now back to help bia your university - we'd all like to think, especially with the guff that university vice-chancellor fatcats spout constantly on tv news about constantly watching out for students experiencing hardship and stress, that your university does have the means somewhere on campus to start taking your predicament seriously. I know that a few years ago, a number of universities awarded non-repayable cash grants to some 'worthy' low income students, although perhaps that practice dried up once they realised no-one is even checking up on them anymore because of the distraction of Brexit. If you honestly feel you've exhausted that avenue and that your university doesn't seem to care, then it might be worth letting us know which university you are at. You are anonymous here so there may be nothing to lose and you never know, someone here may have a suggestion specific to that university, or it might just perk them up a bit.

    I am not familiar with the Debt-Free Wannabe board so don't know if they can offer specific advice for students. However, as onwardsupwards counsels, there's no harm in posting there too.

    Meantime, if you can tell us a rough breakdown of your debt i.e. balance with which lender via which type of account and at what rate of interest, and where the deadline comes from in each case, then it may spark some particular ideas for you here.

    I am sorry this post may have turned into something far more protracted and wordy than you have ever had to study or interpret as part of your course!

    Anyway, I hope that helps a bit, or at least makes you feel less embarrassed. Remember it is our fault not yours! Some enlightened countries, not so far from our shores, do this much better for their young people.
    Last edited by peterbaker; 05-12-2019 at 1:19 AM.
    • ReadingTim
    • By ReadingTim 5th Dec 19, 9:20 AM
    • 3,559 Posts
    • 5,334 Thanks
    ReadingTim
    • #5
    • 5th Dec 19, 9:20 AM
    • #5
    • 5th Dec 19, 9:20 AM
    I'm not sure what the issue is exactly, but in general, you need to take the long view on this: incurring debt in the short term is a necessary evil to obtaining a degree which ought to lead to higher earnings in the long term.

    If you have to go further into the red to complete your degree then so be it, but the alternative, dropping out, is a far worse outcome as you'll still have the debt, but nothing to show for it.
    • DrEskimo
    • By DrEskimo 5th Dec 19, 10:09 AM
    • 886 Posts
    • 649 Thanks
    DrEskimo
    • #6
    • 5th Dec 19, 10:09 AM
    • #6
    • 5th Dec 19, 10:09 AM
    Sorry to hear about your money issues. I think, as others say, we need to take a practical approach and devise a plan to try and reduce the impact that your finances are having on your prospects of gaining your degree.

    I would suggest going through your statements and doing a thorough spending review to work out a suitable budget. Posting a detailed SoA would be a great way to achieve this.

    I would also be interested to hear more about the current system for student loans in terms of maintenance loans/grants. I completed my first degree between 2013-2016, so I am on plan 1. I actually felt that this version was fair and suitable, and the process and interest charged on repaying my loan seems reasonable to me. I know things have changed quite substantially so would be good to hear more.
    • Studentdebt
    • By Studentdebt 5th Dec 19, 10:46 AM
    • 5 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Studentdebt
    • #7
    • 5th Dec 19, 10:46 AM
    • #7
    • 5th Dec 19, 10:46 AM
    Half of the money is overdrafts ( around £4000) and half is with a loan company, which I pay £450 a month back
    • Studentdebt
    • By Studentdebt 5th Dec 19, 10:50 AM
    • 5 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Studentdebt
    • #8
    • 5th Dec 19, 10:50 AM
    Breakdown of all finance
    • #8
    • 5th Dec 19, 10:50 AM
    My tuition fee loan is £9,250 a year
    My overdrafts add up to around £4000 and I have been told by my banks that I have until I graduate (June 2020) to be overdraft free.
    The rest of the money I borrowed to pay rent from a loan agency to pay off my rent last year. The interest is 49.5%
    I go to the University of Salford. I know we have an emergency support fund but this isnít a huge amount of cash, itís very limited.
    I hope this answers everyoneís questions
    • Studentdebt
    • By Studentdebt 5th Dec 19, 10:51 AM
    • 5 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Studentdebt
    • #9
    • 5th Dec 19, 10:51 AM
    • #9
    • 5th Dec 19, 10:51 AM
    As for my current student finance loan, I have to be earning more than £10,000 a year to start paying this back.
    • peterbaker
    • By peterbaker 5th Dec 19, 12:50 PM
    • 2,952 Posts
    • 1,544 Thanks
    peterbaker
    As for my current student finance loan, I have to be earning more than £10,000 a year to start paying this back.
    Originally posted by Studentdebt
    Is it not a standard plan 2 Student Finance England loan, if so the current payback threshold salary is surely now around £25,000pa not £10,000? Or am I missing something? It's not nice having a Student Finance England loan balance around your neck when you start full-time work in earnest, but at least if I am right, it isn't as immediate a concern as your current commercially arranged debts.

    That £450 per month loan payment is the killer, isn't it? And at 49.5%pa I think that equates to 3.4% per month interest on the £4,500 or so remaining balance on it? That's over £150 per month just in interest if I have my calculations right. That's one step back with every three steps forward which I appreciate is disheartening.
    It is scandalous that you should have been forced to go to such sharks, but I bet you are not alone.

    Why do you think the banks have made it so clear that they won't allow your overdraft to continue beyond graduation? To me that seems tantamount to them having set a trap which they know you will fall into and which may entitle them to start charging extortionate interest on an unauthorised overdraft from the day you graduate. That doesn't sound like them treating you fairly (FCA Principle 6). Have you regularly exceeded your overdraft limit to the extent they have had to warn you?

    I am not sure DebtFree Wannabe regulars check this forum, and I am not fluent with the sort of advice they may be able to give, so I do recommend once more that you put all the info given so far into another post on that board and request any advice they can give.

    I am sorry I've no additional ideas to offer you at the moment, but I am sure someone on that other board will try to help if you ask them.
    • bouncydog1
    • By bouncydog1 5th Dec 19, 1:01 PM
    • 2,620 Posts
    • 2,090 Thanks
    bouncydog1
    You really need to complete a proper statement of affairs over on the debt free board so we can have a look at it and make some suggestions to help you. No debt issue can’t be settled so hopefully by doing this you’ll get some assistance.
    • Silver Queen
    • By Silver Queen 5th Dec 19, 1:25 PM
    • 799 Posts
    • 3,460 Thanks
    Silver Queen
    Hi.

    I can hopefully help you here, I have a lot of experience with this since I'm a recent graduate too.

    1. Overdrafts: You graduate in June 2020. Your overdraft should automatically convert into a Graduate Overdraft in June 2020 which permits you to have an extra 1 year interest free. £4k is a huge overdraft and I'm surprised you managed to get such a large amount, but generally banks tend to be OK with recent grads so you'd usually be able to work something out with them even after June 2020.

    What bank are you with? My OH is with Natwest, is 33, graduated 12 years ago and still has a £1k "student" overdraft that's interest free.

    2. Hardship funds, hardship funds, hardship funds. Even if it's an interest free loan that you can pay back. If you can pay off the loan that's charging 49.5%, that'll be a big difference.

    3. Remember you're at university to study, not to work to pay for a course that you're not attending. Easier said that done but PLEASE try to spend less time working and more time studying, especially now you're in your third year. My OH did the same thing as you and graduated with a worthless degree because his grades were so poor.

    4. Why did you end up needing to take out £8k in debt over the last two years? How much student finance do you get and how much is your rent? I got £3.5k maintenance, my rent was about £5k per annum and I worked 15 hours per week to make up the difference. Are you going out a lot and can you cut this down? You can't un-spend money but you can nip it in the bud.
    Debt Totals July 2019::
    £350 Natwest Credit Card / ]Now £0 (paid off and closed 04/2017) £15,500 postgrad loan from parents/ Now £7,000 £5,000 sister loan/ Now £0£500 train ticket loan from parents / Now £0 (paid off 16/02/18)£2,000 Overdraft Now £0 (paid off 09/03/18) £1,967.83 Barclays 0% card Now £0
    Total £7,000
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 5th Dec 19, 1:48 PM
    • 9,782 Posts
    • 22,977 Thanks
    enthusiasticsaver
    Surely your student maintenance loan should cover the majority of your rent? That is almost £9k on top of the tuition fees loan although if your household income is high that may be lower. If your course started before August 2016 the rates are different too. Is there any reason you are not getting the full amount?

    The killer is that loan which is a very high rate of interest so taking that out has compounded your finance problems. Most banks will give you a year to sort out your finances after graduation and give you an interest free overdraft. Have you done a budget and cut back on as many non essential outgoings as you can? Obviously not rent but going out can be done on a shoestring.
    Early retired in December 2017

    I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Mortgages and Endowments, Banking and Budgeting boards. I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. Any views are mine and not the official line of moneysavingexpert.com. Pease remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com
    • Silver Queen
    • By Silver Queen 5th Dec 19, 4:21 PM
    • 799 Posts
    • 3,460 Thanks
    Silver Queen
    Is it not a standard plan 2 Student Finance England loan, if so the current payback threshold salary is surely now around £25,000pa not £10,000? Or am I missing something? It's not nice having a Student Finance England loan balance around your neck when you start full-time work in earnest, but at least if I am right, it isn't as immediate a concern as your current commercially arranged debts.
    Originally posted by peterbaker
    Yes. I graduated in 2012 so I was part of the first cohort on Plan 2. I did not start paying back my student loan until I earned more than £25,250. I currently earn £35,000 and I pay back £69 per month.
    Debt Totals July 2019::
    £350 Natwest Credit Card / ]Now £0 (paid off and closed 04/2017) £15,500 postgrad loan from parents/ Now £7,000 £5,000 sister loan/ Now £0£500 train ticket loan from parents / Now £0 (paid off 16/02/18)£2,000 Overdraft Now £0 (paid off 09/03/18) £1,967.83 Barclays 0% card Now £0
    Total £7,000
    • Adam Fox
    • By Adam Fox 5th Dec 19, 6:06 PM
    • 5 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Adam Fox
    Sometimes phoning the bank up and explaining your situation is all you need to do they are sometimes willing to co-operate with people that are willing to work with them. I know it may seem embarrassing or not possible for your parents may be able to borrow from them they may be able to help in some way.
    • peterbaker
    • By peterbaker 5th Dec 19, 7:47 PM
    • 2,952 Posts
    • 1,544 Thanks
    peterbaker
    Yes. I graduated in 2012 so I was part of the first cohort on Plan 2. I did not start paying back my student loan until I earned more than £25,250. I currently earn £35,000 and I pay back £69 per month.
    Originally posted by Silver Queen
    Hi SilverQueen, I'm a 1970s graduate so what do I know , but did you not mean to say you started your degree course in 2012 rather than graduated in that very first year of the Plan 2 cohort?
    • Studentdebt
    • By Studentdebt 6th Dec 19, 12:33 PM
    • 5 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Studentdebt
    Thank you to peterbaker, your advice has helped me the most and thank you for being so nice about it.

    To everyone elseís comments:
    I live in Manchester and living is expensive for students. Iím on a creative course and that costs a lot to maintain also. The train daily is £12 with my railcard. My rent is £520, as well as bills and maintenance when my landlord decided Iíve damaged items that I hadnít.
    I donít go out, I donít have the time because Iím either working or studying.
    Hardship funds are limited in my university thereís only so much I can give out

    Iíll repost this on the other page, Thank You to everyone for your advice!
    • Caz3121
    • By Caz3121 6th Dec 19, 12:47 PM
    • 12,624 Posts
    • 8,240 Thanks
    Caz3121
    you mention tuition fee loan...what about maintenance loan?
    https://www.gov.uk/student-finance/continuing-fulltime-students
    • peterbaker
    • By peterbaker 6th Dec 19, 7:32 PM
    • 2,952 Posts
    • 1,544 Thanks
    peterbaker
    Thank you to peterbaker, your advice has helped me the most and thank you for being so nice about it.
    Originally posted by Studentdebt
    Well I am glad you found it of help - it is always good to air and share problems but I still feel the most embarrassed between us on behalf of this so short-sighted country as it is run at the moment

    As I said the other day, this student tuition fee lark and no automatic non-means tested help for university students is our fault not yours! Some enlightened countries, not so far from our shores, do this much better for their young people. They have proper wages for part-time students and they have proper levels of taxation that make their countries all inclusive and happy places to live study and work. They never told you this when you were struggling to decide what course to do at what university, but as an Englishman you could by now be in your third year in another EU country where tuition is free to all EU students and in one country I know all EU students receive the equivalent of around £800pm I think as a free grant as long as they show they will also do some part-time work to help support themselves.

    So stuff the shortsighted mealy-mouthed Tory bullpoopers. Vote Labour.
    • Silver Queen
    • By Silver Queen 7th Dec 19, 8:51 PM
    • 799 Posts
    • 3,460 Thanks
    Silver Queen
    Ok, something doesnít quite add up here.

    Whereís your maintenance loan? How much do you get? If you are in really dire straits, your uni hardship fund will help you. Have you received hardship funds in the past?

    I was a student in Brighton which probably cost about the same as Manchester?

    Can you move closer to your uni? Why do you live so far that you have to pay £12 every day for the train? Is it cheaper to get a monthly train pass?

    Did you do an inspection of the place before you moved in? Was there an inventory? If not, why not? Is your deposit protected?

    How were you even allowed to get into this much debt? When I was a student I tried to take out cards and loans but thankfully was only permitted to take out £500 plus my overdraft of £2k.
    (And Peterbaker, youíre right, I started in 2012! Oops!)
    Debt Totals July 2019::
    £350 Natwest Credit Card / ]Now £0 (paid off and closed 04/2017) £15,500 postgrad loan from parents/ Now £7,000 £5,000 sister loan/ Now £0£500 train ticket loan from parents / Now £0 (paid off 16/02/18)£2,000 Overdraft Now £0 (paid off 09/03/18) £1,967.83 Barclays 0% card Now £0
    Total £7,000
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