Borrowing money as a student

Unless you have significant personal savings for family support you will need to borrow money; this could be twice as much money as students on non medical courses. This is because you’re studying for more years and more weeks per year. In this section you can find out more about the pros and cons of the main ways of borrowing (other than from family or friends). In order of preference, there are three main places to start.

Student Loans

This is the most common source of funding for UK students. Student loans are given for fees and living costs, and you do not pay these back until the tax year after your course ends, and the amount is based on income. Student loans do attract interest, but this is less than most other loans. You can find out more about repayments here.

Student Overdrafts

On most students loans no interest is charged while you are a student if you keep within the agreed limit – but you’ll still have to pay it back one day. They can be useful for unexpected costs, or while waiting for loan payments, but it is easy to just treat your overdraft limit as your zero balance and live permanently owing money. Remember any overdraft can be withdrawn at any time. A particular risk is relying on more than one student overdraft as they are very likely to be removed if your loan is not being paid directly into the account.

Credit cards

Credit cards can be useful, but can be a very easy way to get yourself into unmanageable debt. Try to use credit cards only for cash flow, making a full repayment each month if at all possible. Interest rates are often high. Store cards are best avoided as they usually have a very high interest rate.

If you are worried about your debts, have a look at our section on managing debt, or get in touch with our online money adviser.

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