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Money Matters

What next? Life after graduation

You're nearing, or have reached, the end of your undergraduate studies. So now you are thinking about what to do next - whether that be staying on in education, funding a postgraduate course, or simply planning ahead in your life as a graduate, we hope that you will find this information a useful launch-pad for the next stage in your journey.

Staying on in education

An important factor, when considering your postgraduate academic options, will be whether funding will be available to assist you in your chosen field of study. 

So whether that be a Masters, PGCE, PhD, or some other form of postgraduate studies, please see postgraduate funding

Also, feel free to contact one of our Student Financial Consultants if you require any further advice or support with this.

Graduate bank accounts

Upon graduating from university, you will have to think about what type of bank account is going to suit your needs the best.

The majority of undergraduate student accounts, like the one you may already be using, offer an interest free overdraft facility. In most cases, when you graduate your current bank will transfer your student account to a graduate account. Graduate bank accounts are similar to student bank accounts as the majority of them offer an interest free overdraft facility, however it is usually only for a set period of time, with overdraft limits decreasing in increments to encourage you to repay the overdraft over time.

Check with your bank to see what they will do about your student account - but also shop around in case there are better deals elsewhere. MoneySavingExpert  regularly keeps an independent eye on the marketplace and highlights current deals being offered by banks.


Student loan repayments

The UK student loan system, through the Student Loans Company, is an income-based repayment model. This means that the amount that you repay each month against your student loan debt is based on your income at the time of repayment. Put simply, once you have graduated, the Tax Office regularly informs the Student Loans Company of your income, and your repayments are calculated based on that. The more you earn: the more you repay each month.

To find out about more about how student loan repayment works, including how much you owe, visit Student Loan Repayment for all the latest information. We also have some information here on how the interest and repayments on student loans are calculated.


Moving house

As you come to the end of your accommodation contract in your final year of undergraduate study, here are some important things to remember when preparing to leave and move to your new home.

  • Request any damage deposit back from your landlord
  • Take any final meter reading(s) on your last day and inform your utility supplier(s) that you are leaving the property.  
  • Inform your bank, phone provider and any other services that you are billed for, of your change in address. It will also be important to contact your Local Authority to be added to the electoral register.
  • Include council tax payments in your budget when moving into your new property.If you're no longer going to be a student, you will not qualify for an automatic exemption from council tax charges, though you may still be eligible for a discount for other reasons. 
  • Check  who supplies energy to your new property and decide if you want to stay with them or switch suppliers to save money. Compare energy tariffs and plans with 'Confidence Code' price comparison websites approved by the energy regulator OFGEM.


Finding a job


Our careers experts in the University's Employability and Enterprise Hub are focused on your personal development and making sure that you have the best opportunities and experience necessary to enter the employment marketplace with the skills you need to succeed.

Other Sources of Careers Advice:

National Careers Service  

Find a job

Once you are in employment, you will need to again look at how to budget your new income. There are a number of tools to help you do this – see the managing your money and dealing with debt information below.  Take into consideration whether your expenditure will be any different due to your new job – for example will there be changes to your travel costs, clothing requirements, food and drink, mobile phone usage?  

Also, check if you are entitled to any Universal Credit, for example if you are on a low wage, or have children in your care – see our Universal Credit page for more information.


Upon graduating from university, there may be a period of time while you are looking for work where you do not have an income. Don’t forget to check whether you can can claim state benefit whilst looking for work, to help with living costs.

Entitlement to Universal Credit will allow the Dept for Work and Pensions to calculate any benefit to help with living costs for you and any dependants, as well as possible help with your rent.

Depending on your situation, you could also be eligible to other benefits. For example:

Personal Independence Payment  which can help you with care and/or mobility costs related to a disability or health condition

Employment and Support Allowance which is paid if you have limited capability to work due to disability or health problems

Child Benefit if you have a dependent child

It may be useful to contact your local Benefits Agency to discuss your eligibility for state benefits, or you may wish to try some online tools Benefits calculators


Managing your money and dealing with debt

Now that you are graduating from university, you will need to adapt to managing your finances on a monthly or weekly basis depending on your circumstances and the regularity of your income.

It's important to maintain your priority payments, such as rent/mortgage, Council Tax, utility bills, food, and debt repayments. You may also wish to consider reducing any high-interest debts from student credit cards and bank loans that you may have. Missing payments could damage your credit rating and your ability to borrow in the future for a home or a car, for example.

If you are worried about debt, there are a number of free debt advice agencies that you can contact for help. For example:

Step Change  , National Debtline Citizens Advice , and Payplan .
Student Loans Company debt, from your Maintenance Loans and Tuition Fee Loans, is dealt with differently to other debts. For further details see Student Loan Repayments

See here to help you keep track of your spending and ensure you stay within your weekly/monthly budget. MoneySavingExpert also have a step-by-step advice page on how to budget effectively.



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