Money Advice

When you start University you will be living on a fixed income, so it's a good idea to plan your finances. It might be boring and a bit frightening but keeping a record of your income and outgoings can really help you to budget properly.

By doing this, you will be able to determine how much you have available to spend on non-essential or less important items. Record everything you spend so that you are always aware how little or much you have left for the rest of the week/month. If you are unaccustomed to managing your own money or are trying to manage on less money, then it is easy to overspend quickly.

We advise working out your budget as soon as your student loan arrives, the simplest way to work out your budget is to use a budget planner or ask for advice with any budgeting queries you may have from the Advice and Support Centre.

If you find yourself struggling don't panic, stay calm, try not to feel guilty or afraid and there's no need to feel embarrassed, help is available.

Ignoring the problem and not taking action will not make the problem go away, it will just get worse, seek help, the Advice and Support Centre have Finance Advisers who will be able to help you take back control.

Download this free app from NASMA (National Association of Student Money Advisers) for lots of tools to help you manage your finances during your time at University.

Financing your way through university can be a tough assignment. However, you can take steps to help you finance your higher education with a Student Loan.

If you have previously gained an honours degree from a Higher Education Institution you will not be eliglble for any student support unless you are continuing your studies towards certain professional qualifications i.e. medical doctor, dentist, veterinary doctor or architect.

Everyone is entitled to the non-means tested element of the loan. The remaining means tested element you may receive will depend upon the income of your parents or you/your spouse if you are independent. If you are estranged from your parents then you will have to provide additional supporting evidence.

Student Finance England will assess your eligibility for funding. Students will need to meet the basic redsidency requirement (three years ordinarily resident within the UK before the first day of the academic year).

Generally students under the age of 25 are assessed on the income of their parents, if you are estranged or live independently then you will have to provide proof

I've not received my funding yet, what do I do?

 

Part Time Funding

For the first-time new students beginning their part-time course on or after 1st September 2012 will be able to apply for a Tuition Fee Loan. The Tuition Fee Loan isn't based on household income and there's no upper age limit for applying. You will have to repay this loan.

Postgraduate Funding for 2016/17

The Government are introducing postgradute loans (PGL) for Master's study for the first time. For information on personal eligibility, course eligibility, payment and repayment, please see the Direct.gov.website.

NB: If you already have a Higher education degree you will not be eligible for student support unless you are continuing your studies towards certain professional qualifications. See the Direct.gov website for further information.

If the Student Loans Company does not pay your tuition fee loan you must pay your own tuition, you can choose to do so in one lump sum or by instalments.

Find out more about paying your fees at the University of Wolverhampton website.

Please read the following link regarding Tuition Fee Liability from the point of Enrolment: University of Wolverhampton 2016/17 Fee Liability, Refunds and Debtor Policy

It can be extremely difficult budgeting as a student, as you receive student loan and wages at different times and intervals.

Why is it important to make a budget

  • Allows you to know how much income you have coming in
  • Allows you to know how much money is going out
  • Allows you to plan your spending so that you are never left with periods in which you have no money.

 

For more detailed advice on budgeting and planning your finances, contact the Advice & Support Centre or check out the Money Saving Expert website for extra tips. You can also do a money health check at the Money Advice Service

 

Here are a few tips that may help increase your income:

Take care with credit

It is important you take out your student loan, as this is the cheapest way of borrowing money. If you still need to borrow money, it is best to shop around. Shop around your local banks and see who offers the best overdraft, avoiding gimmicks or opting for the first bank whose advert you see. The golden rule with credit is always what you borrow must be paid back, so take care.

Job Seekers Allowance/Income Support (JSA/IS/ESA)

Most students who are studying full-time are not eligible for either income based or contribution based JSA.

Exceptions to the rule include some of the following groups:

  • Single parents
  • Student couples with a child/children
  • Students with disabilities

These groups may be able to claim some JSA/IS/ESA to cover the summer period. For further information on the exceptions please ask at the Advice and Support Centre.

Part-time earnings from employment are counted in full as income, less a small disregard. It is important to note that you should not rely too heavily on receiving benefit over the summer period and as such, budget your current income over 52 weeks not just the academic year.

 

Ignoring the debt and not taking any action will not make the problem go away, it can in fact make your situation a lot worse. There is a lot of advice and there are a lot of tools available to help you tackle debt head on and enable you to take control of your situation rather than let your debts control you. See below our brief guide to dealing with debt but do follow the links at the end of this page, to access further information.

There are many websites offering FREE advice and guidance on debt management, do not use services for which you must to pay.

Try the following links for further advice and guidance:

Citizens Advice

Money Saving Expert debt planning

Student Debt Help & Advice Free From StepChange

National Debtline

Payplan

Money Advice Service.

uSwitch - Get out of debt guide

The Consumer Forums

Financial Support While You Study

Funds are available to provide financial help to students if they are able to prove genuine financial hardship, that might impact on their ability to continue at the University. You need to have exhausted all other financial means i.e. overdraft, student loan etc, before applying to the Dennis Turner Opportunity fund.

Dennis Turner Opportunity Fund

If you are sending evidence for the Dennis Turner Opportunity fund, it is useful to note that your application cannot be processed until all evidence has been uploaded and verified after which it can take 4 weeks to process.

To help with the uploading of evidence, please check out these tips and hints:

  • The upload system only accepts one file but one file can be many pages. For example, online bank statements can be downloaded as one big file which can then be uploaded as one.
  • If scanning documents the scanner normally has settings that will allow you to scan multiple pages as one document so, again, more than one page can be added as a single file.
  • The best files to upload are PDF’s or Word documents.
  • You can use JPEG images but they are only 1 page
  • You can take a photo and send that but you must ensure that the quality is good enough that all the details can be read. There is no point sending images of bank statements if once combined into a PDF you cannot tell what it says.
  • Please NO NOT send links to online drives or pages as this does not guarantee access and may take longer to upload.
  • BMP’s are acceptable but only if quality is good enough and, again, you are only uploading 1 page.
  • Make sure you title your uploads appropriately – ie “student number” bank or “student number” sfe – this will make processing quicker and much easier.
  • Try and upload them in the right place – ie a personal statement under the personal statement upload. If you have more than one file to upload for one “slot” use one that you will not need and ensure, again, that it is titled appropriately.

If you really have to email the evidence to money@wlv.ac.uk we would suggest you add a received receipt and a read receipt so that you will be notified once your email has been both received and opened.

This will also give you an indication on how long your application will take from that point (4 weeks).

Educational Trust Funds and Charities

There are varying (but usually quite small) amounts of funding available from educational trust funds or charitable organisations. Awards are discretionary and vary in amount. Read the criteria carefully to save wasting time applying for a fund for which you are not eligible. Applications may have to be made via an adviser or support worker. Check the application information for each organisation. Further information about applying to charities and trust funds is available at the links below:

Money Saving Expert

Turn2Us