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How to prepare for university

Going off to university can mean independence, socialising and hard work.

To make the transition as smooth as possible, we’ve put together tips on ways you can start preparing for university.

How to prepare for university

1. Build up some savings before you go

Try saving some money over the summer before you start university. This can help you stock up on course supplies, or other necessities if you’re waiting on your student loan to come through.

If you have an amount in mind, our savings goal calculator can help you see how long it would take you to reach your target.

2. Look at how to budget your money

Creating a budget can be a helpful way to stay on top of your cash flow. You’ll be able to see what you having coming in, what you need to pay for and anything you have left over.

Our budget planning tool can help you get started. 

3. Open a student bank account

Opening a student bank account can give you somewhere safe to keep your money. You’ll usually get access to other features as well, like online and mobile banking.

Some student accounts come with incentives, which you can make the most of. But it’s important to check the account suits your needs.

Explore: Banking 101 - Financial education for young adults

4. Know the ins and outs of your student overdraft

If you’ve opened a student current account, it’s likely your bank will have offered you an interest-free student arranged overdraft. But before you start spending, make sure you understand everything to do with your student overdraft. This includes when you’ll need to pay the money back and what happens when you graduate.

5. Learn your course timetable

Managing your own time is important. From lectures to study time and hanging with friends, there's plenty to do. Learning your course timetable can help you make sure you’re attending all your classes. 

It’s handy to look up how you'll get to your lectures in advance so you know how long it will take and you don’t run the risk of being late. Check out which buses you can get, or a route you can walk. If you’re planning to drive, look at the options for parking.

6. Consider insurance

It’s likely you’ll be setting off to uni with a laptop, TV and a number of other possessions and gadgets. Taking out insurance can provide some peace of mind that, if something were to happen to them, you'll be covered.

7. Pay down your student debt

It’s important to make sure that you borrow what you need whilst you are at university so make a budget early. Once you have graduated you’ll begin paying this back once your income gets above the threshold. Remember this loan is written off after 30 years and repayments stop if you are not working or if your salary is below the earning threshold. If you do still decide to pay off your student loan early you can do this either as a lump sum or by paying more than the minimum payments. 

Explore: Paying off student loan early

8. Ask for help

Whether it’s too much coursework, not enough time to study, or you need support with your finances, asking for help is important. Speaking up can often help make the situation more manageable and you may be able to find a solution.

Speak to your university about any services they have available to support you.