• Find out about student and graduate accounts for support during and after university.
  • Learn about the range of support available for students across the UK.
  • Understand how you can prepare for long term saving during university.

Read time

13 mins

Chapter 1


Read time

2 mins

Whether you or a loved one are beginning a new chapter at university, it’s important to be financially prepared for the experience. In this section, we’ll take you through the key things to watch out for and share useful resources and tips to help through time at university.


Student accounts

These bank accounts are specifically designed for students, so they often include an interest-free overdraft. They also commonly offer gifts or discounts for things that students use a lot or tend to enjoy.

The terms and conditions of most student bank accounts don't let you open multiple accounts of this type. However, there’s nothing stopping you from using another current account for your day-to-day spending or to use as a tool for budgeting, and keeping your student account – and the interest-free overdraft – for saving or big purchases.



Student overdrafts can be a short-term safety net when you need to borrow some money. But, like all forms of overdraft, you’ll need to pay it back at some point.

You’ll need to manage your account within your arranged overdraft limit to make sure you can make all your payments. If you don’t have enough money in your account, or if you reach your limit, you might not be able to spend any more.


Graduate accounts

After graduation, the student current account is likely to be moved to a graduate account. It eases you in to working life, allowing you to keep some of your interest-free overdraft limit for a set time.

Chapter 2


Read time

3 mins

Student loans are one of the cheapest forms of long-term borrowing. There are two different types of student loan:

  • A loan to cover tuition fees.
  • A maintenance loan to help with day-to-day living expenses, like rent and travel.

All eligible students can get the full tuition fee loan, and at least a partial maintenance loan, regardless of your household income.

Student finance differs depending on where you are in the UK. Find out about student finance from these different student finance websites. You only start paying back student loan once you reach a certain threshold of income. You can find the current threshold on the government's website.

However, your situation changes depending on where you live and study. For example, if you’re Scottish and studying in Scotland, you don’t need to pay any tuition fees. And if you're from England or Wales but studying in Scotland, your fees will be cheaper.

Chapter 3


Read time

3 mins

Student finance

The government arranges student finance. There are different student finance websites depending on which region you’re from, including a site for EU students. The government also provides a student finance calculator so you can find out how much student finance you can claim.

For more support on student finance, MoneyHelper has a comprehensive guide on financial support for further education.

The Budget Planner by MoneyHelper can help make sense of a budget when beginning university life.

Scholarships, Grants and Bursaries

If you need extra financial support to attend university, there are various schemes that universities administer ‐ this could be in the form of scholarships, grants and bursaries. Each will have their own application requirements and process. Reach out to the university you're applying to or check their website for more information.

Support for disabled students

You can get a Disabled Students' Allowance on top of other student finance, and you don't need to pay it back. How much you get depends on your individual needs. The support and application process differs across the UK:

Chapter 4


Read time

3 mins

Like many students, you might have a part time job while studying. You may need the money for day-to-day living costs, but if you’re interested in starting a pension pot, you may be eligible thanks to your job.

  • If you're earning £6,240 or less a year and you’re aged between 16 and 74, you have the right to ask to be enrolled on to your workplace pension scheme. Your employer can choose not to enrol you, and they don’t have to contribute to the scheme if you are enrolled. When you're enrolled, you may get tax relief on your contributions – check with your pension provider for more information.
  • If you're earning between £6,240 and £10,000 a year, and you’re aged between 16 and 75, you have the right to be enrolled on to the workplace pension scheme if you ask to be (so your employer can’t decide not to enrol you). Your employer is required to make contributions to the scheme. You may get tax relief on your contributions – check with your pension provider for more information.

For more information visit MoneyHelper’s guide to joining a workplace pension scheme

Scottish Widows Be Money Well is committed to providing information in a way that is accessible and useful for our users. This information, however, is not in any way intended to amount to authority or advice on which reliance should be placed. You should seek professional advice as appropriate and required. Any sites, products or services named in this module are just examples of what's available. Scottish Widows does not endorse the services they provide. The information in this module was last updated on 16th August 2022.


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