Congratulations! You have just graduated from Ulster University. So, what is next? Whether you are looking for work, planning further study or thinking of travelling, there are a few things you need to remember.
Repaying your Student Loan
- As an NI full-time student, you are due to start repaying your loan, the April after you graduate or leave your course.
- You will pay 9% of anything you earn over £18,330 before tax, per year. Your repayments are calculated according to how often you are paid, i.e. weekly, monthly, etc.
- For example:
- you earn £21,000 per year, before tax
- £21,000 - £18,330 = £2,670 earned over the threshold per year
- 9% of £2,670 = £240.30
- Each month you will repay £20
- Further information on repaying your student loan click here.
Repaying your overdraft
- Once you have graduated, the aim of the game is to clear your overdraft before you start to incur interest or fees.
- If your overdraft is currently sitting at £600, and you have six months before interest and fees kick-in, you need to repay at least £100 per month or £25 per week.
- You may not have an overdraft to pay back, but if you have a credit card or personal loans, you will want to clear these as quickly as possible to avoid any unnecessary interest charges.
- Consider moving to a graduate account. This could extend your interest-free overdraft facility for another two years. Some banks will automatically switch your account upon graduation. If your bank doesn’t offer this facility, shop about for one that does. Click here for top graduate accounts.
- Get earning as soon as you can, this could even be picking up extra hours in your part-time job, or maybe the dream job offer has just come in.
- Make sure you have a robust budget in place, which includes repayments to your overdraft… and stick to it!
REMEMBER! Check your overdraft terms and conditions. You may have as little as six months, or as long as two years to repay your overdraft.
ASK! If your bank does not automatically switch you to a graduate account, check to see if you are eligible. This will give you a little longer to clear your overdraft without incurring any interest and fees.
AVOID! Keep to the terms of your overdraft to avoid any fees or charges. This means staying within the arranged overdraft limit and paying in the required amount per year to keep your account active.
Money, money, money…
- One of our money myths is ‘Budgeting is only for when you are broke’ – this is not the case. If you do not have a budget in place, how do you know how much you have to spend on your bills for example, and how much you have left for yourself? Budgeting will remove any room for error and keep you living without overspending.
- Try some of the Money for Life quizzes here, to see what you do and do not know about money.
- Thinking of splashing out on a new car or heading off on your travels, before you borrow any money, check out the difference between Good Debt & Bad Debt
- With your overdraft paid back and some extra cash lying around, it is important to start putting a bit of money aside each month. This could be for a new car, deposit for a house or spending money for a holiday. Maybe you don’t have any plans for your money yet, but it will all add up, and if you should fall into financial difficulty, savings are always there to get you out of a jam.