Paying off your student loan
With tuition fees at an all time high, most graduates leave university with a debt of over £50,000. This can be a daunting prospect for anyone newly entering the world of work, who may assume they are expected to pay this debt off as quickly as possible. However, it is important to note that it may not be in your best interest to do so. The format of the student loan system means that relatively low interest is added to your debt each year, lessening the importance of speed when paying off your student debt. Additionally, depending on your career progress and earning potential, it is possible a lot of the loan will never have to be paid off at all. Student loan repayments are directly reflected in your earnings, meaning that you will only ever be required to pay off as much as you can afford to based on your income. Of course, depending on your circumstances, you may decide to make over-payments to clear the debt more quickly, but prioritising more pressing, high-interest repayments, such as your credit card bills is a good idea. Additionally, after 30 years of repayments, irrelevant in value, the remaining loan is completely wiped off and you are no longer expected to repay it.
Paying off your overdraft
On top of this, a lot of students acquire a student bank account with no-interest overdrafts in order to ease the stress of day to day expenses while at university. Although helpful in the short-term, most students are unaware of the dramatic impact interest on overdrafts of up to £3,000, will have the moment they stop being a student and become a graduate. It is therefore recommended that as existing students, you investigate whether your bank has the option to switch to a graduate account the year you leave university. If your bank doesn’t do this automatically, finding the right graduate account can be a great way to ease yourself into paying off your overdraft, while avoiding the potentially huge charges of an accumulated student overdraft.
Although the steady income of a new graduate job can be exciting, a lot of graduates commonly overlook the accumulating outgoings and living expenses of their new life, forgetting about the importance of saving. By calculating these weekly expenses, you can work out how much you need, how much to save, and how much is left to splash! If you find it difficult to make these initial savings, you could look to payroll deduction, or something simpler, such as throwing daily change into a jar. Getting into the habit of saving within the first few years of your working life is crucial in case you find yourself out of work or for any other problems you may encounter. Giving yourself a savings target of around 3-6 times your monthly pay can be a great place to start. You’ll be surprised to see how quickly you can achieve this by putting £5-10 aside each week to save for the future!