Financial planning for your future
Managing your money effectively is a skill to develop for life and continues after you leave university. Support and advice available during your studies will help you build a strong financial foundation for your life after graduation.
Before you leave university
There are few things that you may want to consider doing before leaving university
- Consider selling things like old course materials that you will no longer require after you finish
- It is important to settle any outstanding rent payments to avoid problems with finding new accommodation to rent in the future
- Double check that you have cancelled outstanding utility bills and broadband contracts before moving out, to make sure you do not overpay for services through direct debit
- It is worth thoroughly preparing your accommodation for the end of tenancy check, to ensure you receive your deposit back in full
It is a good idea to get career advice. There are several support services available to help you develop your skills and secure employment after graduation. The Careers and Employability service offers specific support for graduates
- GradVantage - lifetime support with managing a career change, considering further study or even just working out what you want to do
- The career tool platform - helps you to prepare for the recruitment process
- UniHub - allows you to search through graduate jobs and internships, as well as book onto career fairs, and skills workshops
- One-to-one appointments - tailored advice, and feedback on CVs or job applications, as well as interview practice
- Networking - LinkedIn alumni tool and Hallam Collective allow you to connect with fellow Hallam graduates
Student loan repayment
If you have taken out a loan from Student Finance England, then the Student Loans Company will expect you to start repaying your student loan from April after you complete your course. Do not worry, if you are earning less than the threshold or unemployed, you will not be liable to repay. When you start earning more than the set threshold, repayments will be collected directly from your wages by HMRC.
It is worth researching graduate banking options to switch into a better deal and make the most out of the banking perks available to graduate students. SavetheStudent offers a good comparison of the best graduate bank accounts. Choosing the graduate account offering the longest 0% overdraft could help you transition into life after university but make sure to avoid taking on more debt where possible
Keep your details up to date
If you have moved back home or to another address, update your mobile provider and bank with your new address to ensure they send information to the correct address and to avoid unexpected charges. This will also help reduce the risk of identity theft and fraud.
After you have left university
If you worked during your studies, check if you are entitled to a tax refund. This would be the case if you have earned less than the current year tax allowance. To apply for refund, you will need to request a refund in writing, enclosing P45s or wage slips, to the appropriate tax office. You can find more information on tax thresholds and how to claim a refund on the gov.uk website.
It is important to make sure that you are aware of all the help that you are entitled to. You can find information on benefits and tax credits on Citizens Advice website or use the benefits calculators to find out what help you could get and how to apply for it.
Keep in touch
Hallam alumni community provides lifelong careers support to all alumni amongst other benefits and resources you can access.
Long term planning
It may seem overwhelming to think about mortgages straight after leaving university as you are likely to have other priorities. But it is a good time to start your research and understand what the first steps are towards one of the biggest financial decisions in your life. The Blackbullion mortgage 101 article can help you understand where to start and MoneySavingExpert first-time buyers' guide offers detailed advice on every step from deposit to mortgage types, brokers and the best deals.
Pensions might seem too far away to worry about, but it is best to start saving toward your retirement early. You will most likely be automatically enrolled into a pension scheme when you start working but there are several different types of pensions available, so it is worth finding out what is best for you. The Blackbullion pensions 101 pathway is a good place to start, The Pensions Advisory Service offers free impartial guidance on pensions and MoneySavingExpert can help you get the most out of your chosen scheme. This two minute video from MoneySavingExpert provides a useful introduction.
Suggested Blackbullion learning
Blackbullion is an online learning platform that you can access for free with your Hallam email address and improve your money skills through pathways, articles, and tools. We recommend that you complete below modules to help you financially prepare for life after graduation
- To understand how much you are likely to repay per month you can use the loan repayment estimator
- Mortgages 101 will give you an overview of the first steps towards getting a mortgage when you are ready
- The tax pathway is designed to introduce you to the tax system
- Pensions 101 will help you understand how the pension system works
- Figuring out your insurance is a useful article to help you understand how insurance may help you prepare for the future