student loan

5 Tools to Improve Your Student Loan Strategy

Student loan applications in the UK are multiplying as we speak. Undergraduate students apply for government loans to save themselves from paying tuition and living expenses from their own pockets. In the end, program costs are quite expensive by themselves. Add food and accommodation to that, and you’re left with no money as a student in England. That’s why many undergrads prefer to owe a future debt to the government. Usually, this debt is paid long after graduation, when the student has a stable income.

But the UK is not the only country experiencing high student debt. Look at the United States, Ireland, Italy, Spain, and all of the other countries where students can apply for state loans.

As of now, more than 45 million American students have borrowed money from the government to complete their undergraduate studies. In total, the sum spent on student debt goes up to $1.6 trillion in the United States alone. After mortgage debt, this is the second-highest consumer debt category, writes Forbes magazine.

So, if you are a debt owner in the UK or a student who’s planning out their financials, it’s important to research all the available tools that could help you out. Your student loan debt will have to be paid soon after graduation, so it’s time to consider all of your options. It’s better to start thinking about this issue early on and map out a correspondent payment plan.

These are the best tools to improve your student loan strategy and start off on the right foot.

  1. First and foremost, check your student loan guide

There are multiple ways in which you can deal with your student loans in the UK. For starters, you could check out the best student deals for tuition fees. You might not be eligible for other types of loans, but you’ll at least be able to save up on some of your expenses by applying for this type of aid. You’ll get as much as £9,000 per academic year if you qualify for it. You can pay this sum back (plus interest) when you have a stable income. Paying it back only applies to students earning more than £21,000 per year. If you won’t, there’s no need for you to pay it back.

You could also check out government aid for living costs, also called maintenance loans. You could be eligible for up to £11,000 per academic year if you are living in London. If you’re living outside of the city, you might get up to £9,000.

If you come from a low-income family, you might be eligible for income support loans from the university. You should reach out to your Designated School Official or person of contact and ask for directions. You could be eligible for a childcare or adult dependants’ grant, if not many others.

If you’ve applied for all of these loans and are still struggling, you could check out NHS bursaries. They’re usually designed for medical students and social workers, but exceptions can be made. If the government won’t approve such a loan, you can always reach out to your person of contact and ask if the school offers any extra scholarships. If they do, you should apply for those as well.

There’s also the option to get a private loan, but the interests on private loans are usually very high. The repayment periods are also shorter, which makes your financial situation harder to handle post-graduation.

  1. Make more than the minimum payment

While attending university can be expensive, you should save up a monthly sum to make more than minimum payments on your loan. This is the time when you’re becoming an adult, so you must change your behaviour accordingly. This is a great opportunity to learn how to deal with your finances and save up for rainy days.

If you want to evolve and engage in more conscious behaviour, this is the time to start. Some months might be more challenging to handle, but they’ll teach you what not to do.

Start by adding 5% more on top of your minimum payment. Then, calculate how much this will reduce your loan cost in the future. When you feel prepared, increase the 5% to 7%, and keep adding. The more you pay now, the less you’ll pay once you’re graduating.

And think about it this way – if you won’t make more than £21,000 per year, you can keep these savings for future investments, since you won’t have to pay back your tuition loans.

  1. Make more money

Making more money is always a great option too. You could pay off your debt more easily by having more resources. While it might be quite complicated to get a full-time job as a student, you could always apply for a part-time online position. There are many open college paper reviews assistant positions this time of the year.

You can either do that or:

  • Tutor other students for money. Find your area of interest and get paid for explaining seemingly easy concepts.
  • Enrol in a paid internship program. Learn new skills while making money and paying for university, both at the same time. There are many great internships available in London. If you cannot find an in-person one this time of the year, apply for a remote position. You’ll get professional experience, nonetheless.
  • Start your own website or blog and write about your student experience. If you’re passionate about other topics such as travelling or cooking, then write about that. Everything that excites you, really. Just make sure your writing is error-free.
  • Apply for a virtual assistant position for a small business. You could get managerial experience and learn how to organize better. You could also learn effective time-management skills.
  • Get paid to take notes for your classmates. Some students might have serious learning disabilities, so you’d be helping them too. You could make up to £10 per hour for writing down notes for your pals.
  • Proofread your classmates’ work. You could promote yourself easily on campus, so that’s not going to be a problem. Spread the word, let your classmates know that you’d like to give them a helping hand in exchange for money.
  • If you can type faster or are good with Excel, do your classmates’ Stats homework and get paid for it.
  • You could also visit your school’s career office to ask about other possible job opportunities, both on- and off-campus. I’m sure they’ll be more than happy to help.

While it’s tempting to do so, do not spend all of your extra money on eating out and buying coffees. Save some for repaying your loans. You could start a savings fund to help you keep track of all the money you’ve been saving. Open an Excel spreadsheet right now and start saving.

  1. Spend less

Another option would be spending less money on unnecessary. If you’re already spending the minimum, this might not apply to you. But if you’re not and you know it, you might want to stop spending so much money. Developing healthy money-spending habits is crucial.

To spend less each month, you could do some quick, motivational math. Here’s how.

  • How much coffee do you buy per day? Let’s say you buy a Starbucks coffee for £3 each day.
  • How much coffee do you buy per week, then? £3 x 7 = £21 for coffee per week.
  • How much money do you spend on coffee per year, then? £21 x 4 (weeks) x 12 (months) = £1,008.

That’s a thousand pounds spent on coffee only every single year! Think about how much you’d be able to save if you gave up on some unnecessary items. I’m not saying coffee is not necessary, I’m a huge fan myself. But you could buy coffee from the store and brew it at home for way cheaper! You could buy Starbucks coffee only on exam day, or when there’s a special event.

  1. Use essential digital tools to cut your debt

There are other tools that can help you stay on track. With increased access to technology, we now have free access to amazing financing tools online. Some of the best are ChangED, an app that rounds up your change after each purchase and puts it toward your student loan. The app is American but you can customize it for the UK.

You could also use EvoShare, an app that offers students cash back after each online purchase. You could save that cash for paying off your loans.

If do your research well, you’ll find even more options available for you.

Conclusion

Developing smarter spending habits is not easy. It will take you time, commitment, and patience. However, it is not impossible. Once you’ve managed to change your conscious behaviour and pay higher amounts of student debt, you’ll start feeling released. You’ll feel how financial freedom feels like, and you’ll become in charge of many other things in your life. You got this, pal!

Author Bio:

Michael Gorman is a highly skilled essay writer online and proofreader from the UK who currently works at Australia assignment help. Being interested in everyday development, he writes various blog posts and offers the best essay writing services for students.

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