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Student Borrowing Options 101: How to Get Your Finances Back on Track

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Students are renowned for their poor money management. You survive on pot noodles but you always have cash for some post-lecture drinks. You buy the latest mobile but exist on minute food rations. Living like this, it’s easy to end up in debt.

So what can you do to help yourself when your bank balance is hovering perilously close to zero? If your loan is gone but term time still stretches on interminably, here are four of the best borrowing options to explore…

The Bank of Mum and Dad

If you’re running low on funds, your first port of call should always be The Bank of Mum and Dad. Although it can be embarrassing to admit your failings, capital will be interest free and quick to arrive, with no unfavourable terms attached. Even if your parents aren’t able to support you, they’ll probably be able to impart some useful advice on where to turn.


If you’ve got yourself into a bit of a financial mess, and your parents simply aren’t in a position to help you out, then your next port of call should be a bank overdraft. Most student accounts will come with one attached, but the amount this gives you access to will vary from lender to lender. Thankfully, this is usually interest free until you graduate, so don’t be afraid to dip into it if you’re really desperate.

Credit Cards

Unfortunately, by the time most students realise that they’ve got a problem on their hands, they’ve already maxed out their overdraft. If this is you, you might want to consider a credit card as your next option. Lenders will offer finance to almost anyone, but this doesn’t mean that you should always accept their offers. Before signing on the dotted line, make sure that you read all of the terms and conditions in detail. If you’re in any doubt as to whether you’ll be able to meet the repayment terms, then give it a miss and look for an alternative borrowing option instead.

Specialist Student Loans

Another viable borrowing alternative are loans specifically formulated with students in minds, such as those available from Smart-Pig. Offering grace periods and interest caps, you’ll find that they offer much fairer terms than traditional short-term borrowing options, and have been carefully tailored to suit your needs.

Which borrowing option will you choose?