In Campus Living Villages’ survey, more than half (56%) of students said they are regularly left with little money a while before their next loan instalment or additional income comes in. This equates to 1.3 million students across the country. Of these, 23% said they often struggle to buy food and essentials for a period of time, while 31% said they often borrow money from parents or other sources.
The research also found that 83% of students create a budget when their student loan comes in to help them manage their money. However, just one in six (14%) say they always stick to the budgets they have created.
In light of reports that high-cost lenders are targeting students, Campus Living Villages is urging universities and accommodation providers to highlight the financial support available to help.
Lee McLean, CEO of Campus Living Villages, commented: “We know that the cost associated with going to university is causing concern for students and their families. With the cost of living rising, and many graduating with high levels of debt as a result of tuition fees, it is more important than ever that students know how to manage their finances effectively. We were encouraged by the number of students in our research who said they do actually create a budget, but concerned that so many don’t stick to it. And it is particularly worrying that the majority of students are at risk of running out of money before the end of term as they may use overdrafts or turn to other expensive alternatives to cover their debts.
“As students are heading into exam period, managing their money might be at the bottom of the priority list, so it’s important to ensure they have all the support they need to make good financial decisions. More than half of our survey respondents said they don’t think students receive enough information about the impact of debt on credit ratings. This means they could be unaware of the serious consequences of being late with rent payments, going into an unauthorised overdraft or not being able to pay off a credit card. So, as a sector, we need to work together to ensure this issue doesn’t get forgotten and that students have the support they need.”