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Five student money myths

Five student money mythsDon't believe everything you hear about managing your money as a students. Busting these myths will help to keep your bank account healthy.

Higher fees mean it's harder to pay for uni

It seems like common sense that a £9,000 a year course is harder to pay for than a £6,000 a year one, but for most UK students, that's not the case. Whatever your fees, they'll be paid for in full by the tuition fee loan, which you only start repaying when you've graduated. The amount you repay each month is determined by how much you earn, not how much you owe, so your repayments will be the same whatever you borrow. The real difference is that the more you borrow the longer it will take you to repay, but if you haven't repaid after 30 years then your loan will be written off. (This time limit is different if you started before 2012 or you don't live in England.)

You can avoid repaying your loan by going abroad

There are a few different versions of this myth, but it usually goes something like this: if you live overseas for five years after graduating, your loan will be written off. It sounds too good to be true, and that's because it is. Wherever you end up living, you have to keep up your loan repayments.

In fact, trying to dodge your loan can make things much more expensive: the Student Loans Company can insist that you repay the debt in full if you have tried to avoid making repayments.

Student discounts are there to help you

Shops don't offer student discounts out of kindness: they do it because they think they'll sell more that way. So take advantage of student discounts, but don't assume that the best discount means the best deal - just factor it in when shopping around.

Supermarkets are always cheaper

The big supermarkets put a lot of effort into making people think they're the cheapest option - but don't assume that's always true. Compare their prices with other options to make sure you're not paying more than you need to. For example, fruit and veg might be available cheaper at a local market.

Be especially wary of smaller 'convenience store' branches, like Tesco Metro or Sainsbury's Local: prices there will often be higher than at the big superstores.

Students spend all their money on alcohol

The stereotypical student has drunk their student loan within a fortnight of arriving, but in reality the main expenses are more mundane. Most of your money will go on accommodation and bills, followed by food. Third in the average student's budget is transport.

Socializing does, however, make it to the number four spot - and if you're low on cash, it's much easier to cut down the cost there than on basic living costs.

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