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We know that coming to University can sometimes be challenging financially and may feel like a struggle to pay for bills and food among over things.
You may be new to budgeting, may not spend your money as wisely as you can and find yourself in financial difficulty or have issues with Student Finance England. Below are some frequently asked questions regarding finance while at University.
If you require further information or support please book an appointment with one of our advisors in The Source and we will do our best to help you.
I have spent all of my money, what can I do?
There may be support available within the University if you are in financial hardship, we would advise that you contact the Universities Student money and rights team (SMART) to discuss your situation. See our useful links for details of how to make an appointment.
We would encourage you to think about if you have considered other people who may be able to help you if you have spent all of your money: parents/guardians for example.
One of our advisors would be able to support you in looking at budgeting to ensure that you do not find yourself in this situation again, to make an appointment please see the main page of our website. Alternatively, you can use the on line budgeting tool that can be found in the finance useful links section of our website.
Am I eligible for benefits and how do I apply?
Normally students would not be eligible for benefits; however, there may be situations where a student may be able to access benefits such as:
- If you are a single parent
- Have a disability
- Both you and your partner are students but have a child.
- Part time students may also be eligible for certain benefits if they meet specific criteria.
We would advise that you make an appointment with the Universities ‘Student money and rights team’ (SMART) to discuss if you may be eligible. Details of how to do this are on the useful links page.
‘The Source’ will be able to support you in completing any forms, to make an appointment please see our main page.
For more information on benefits please go to our useful links page.
Do I need to pay council tax when I move out of halls?
Most students do not need to pay council tax but it is important that you find out if you are definitely exempt. You will not need to pay council tax if:
- All people living in the property are students.
- Any property which is left unoccupied by a student who has gone elsewhere to study.
You will have to pay council tax if:
- You are sharing a property with a part time or non student.
For more information on council tax, please go to our finance useful links pages.
I don’t know how to budget and keep running out of money to pay for my bills?
One of The Source advisors would be able to support you in budgeting, to make an appointment please see the main page of our website. We would ask that when you come to your appointment you have the following information:
- A list of all of your monthly outgoings (bills, rent, food, travel cost and any others)
- A list of your monthly incomings (loan, grant, wages, money from parents)
Alternatively, you can use the online budget calculator which can be found on the finance useful links section.
How do I apply for student funding?
To apply for student funding you need to go to the Student Finance England website (Please see our useful links section) and apply on line.
During the application process you will be asked for various information, for example:
- National insurance number
- Evidence of parent’s, guardian or partners earnings
- Evidence of your identity (passport number, birth certificate, EU national identity card)
- Evidence of unearned income (savings, investments)
We would recommend that you gather as much of this information before you start your application as it will make the process easier.
If you would like support or guidance on completing the application please make an appointment to see one of our advisors, to do this please see our main page.
Do I need to apply for student funding each year?
Yes, you will need to apply each academic year for your funding. This is because your situation may have changed and student finance needs to ensure they are assessing you for the correct entitlement. We would recommend that you apply in May/June so that you will have been assessed in time for starting/returning to your course.
I have been looking at websites where I can get a short term loan, are these ok to use?
We would not recommend that you use websites that offer short term loans due to the high interest rates that are included.
For example, you may borrow £250 for 30 days but with interest at 4214% you will be paying back £332. Also, if you are not able to pay back money after 30 days you will receive charges and interest will continue to be charged. This would mean you may end up paying back a lot more than you originally borrowed.
Although we know that sometimes we appreciate that this may be the only option, consider these first:
- Could your parents/guardian lend you some money?
- Have you spoken with your bank? They may be able to offer alternatives to short term loans that will have a lower interest rate.
- Applying to the Universities ‘Access to learning fund’ – See our finance useful links and downloads for more information.
- Speaking with the Universities Student money and rights team (SMART) as they also will be able to look at alternative options with you. Please see our useful links section for their contact details.
- Making an appointment with one of the advisors at The Source, they can support and advise you on other support that may be available. Please see our contacts page on how to make an appointment.
- Access to Learning Fund (ALF) Application Form
- Access to Learning Fund (ALF) Reassessment Form
- Childcare Grant Application Form
- Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA) Factsheet
- Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA) Application Form
- Financial Support Available Booklet
- Support for Students with Children or Adult Dependants
- Fee information from September 2012 for full time Undergraduate students
- Fee information from September 2012 for part time Undergraduate students
- Fee information for Postgraduate students
- University of Derby Student money and rights team
- Student finance – How and when to apply
- Student Finance England – Forms and guides 2011/2012
- Student Finance England – money you can get to pay for University (from September 2012)
- Financial support from the University for UK home students in financial difficulty
- Financial support for disabled students (University of Derby)
- Financial support for disabled students (DirectGov)
- Student Finance England – Calculator (Work out how much you may be entitled to)
- Budgeting calculator
- Benefit information for higher education students with low incomes
- Housing benefit information
- Council Tax information
- Repaying your student loan