Student finances squeeze

Category: Financial planning

Almost a third (30%) of students currently attending university will move back in with their parents after they have completed their studies, HSBC research shows. For those starting university this year, almost half (49%) expect to live with their parents. Of those who intend to live at home, 78% said it was in order to save money and minimise their debt.

The research shows that current students spend £145 on average each week, not including tuition fees. Two thirds (66%) of the 2,000 current students surveyed, say their weekly living cost is more than they expected before they started university. The biggest weekly living expenses that students hadn’t counted on were food (46%), rent (42%), and utility bills (32%) – all of which were more expensive than expected.

The survey findings indicate that two thirds of this year’s university students (66%) plan to stay on top of their finances by doing their banking online or via a mobile or tablet app. Only 33% of those responding in the survey indicated that they would ever visit a bank branch. The majority of students (44%) say they’ll use online banking via a laptop or desktop.

George Charalambous, head of mobile banking at HSBC, said:

“It’s good to see that this year’s students are realistic about the financial pressures of university, and are already thinking about their financial situation when they graduate. Current students say university life is more expensive than they expected, so it’s important students keep on top of their finances, whether that’s by using a mobile app to check an account balance before making that purchase, or by asking their bank for advice and support on how to manage their money.”

This year’s students expect their debt to be £20,648 on average by the time they graduate. However, students using a full tuition fee and maintenance loan this academic year would be left with £43,665 of debt after a three year course. These figures suggest that some students are significantly underestimating the amount they will owe, especially if they don’t have access to additional funds, for example, from their parents.



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