Other Financial Information

Your income should not stop at the finance you receive from Student Loans Company. At the University of Leicester we take an all-inclusive approach to student finance, and we encourage you to investigate other sources of suitable funding to boost your income – whether this is to cover a temporary shortfall; or to bolster your personal funds.

Your Financial Health

Paid Employment

You have plenty of options to work and earn money…

Term-Time, good starting points are Unitemps, the Recruitment Agency based on campus, and the local Highcross Centre, which houses retail outlets, restaurants, bars, and a cinema. Some businesses will allow you to set up email-alerts when vacancies become available.

Vacation Work is sensible as you might earn enough money without needing to work during term-time. If you have a job back home, ask to keep it open for the Christmas, Easter, and Summer Vacation periods.

Best of Both Worlds? There’s no harm in combining term-time and vacation work. In fact if you work for a large employer with many branches, a ‘Transfer Scheme’ could operate where you can fill an available position at your nearest branch, term-time or vacation.

Important Notes about INCOME TAX!

You shouldn’t pay Income Tax unless you earn above a certain threshold in a tax year (known as your ‘Personal Allowance’). This means that if you have paid Income Tax and you’ve not earned over your Personal Allowance, you shouldn’t have paid it! If it’s not repaid to you automatically, you can claim it back.

Two (or more) Jobs? If you have more than one job at the same time (e.g. one at home and one whilst at university), your ‘Personal Allowance’ might be applied to only one of them. If this happens it means you will pay Income Tax on all earnings from the other job, regardless of your wage! You can request that the Allowance is split between your jobs, which means you won’t pay any tax on any of your earnings if you don’t earn above the Allowance threshold. Contact Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to split your Allowance.

Want more info? See the Tax Guide for Students from the Low Incomes Tax Reform Group

A Free Overdraft

You can open a Student Bank Account as a Full-time Undergraduate, and some banks will also give Student Accounts to Postgraduates too. This can be as easy as switching your existing bank account to a Student Account, but you might want to do some shopping-around and compare what’s on the market.

Most banks will entice you with freebies such as a Railcard or Amazon Vouchers, so see what’s best for you (no point having a Railcard if you’re not going to do much train travel!).

However, the main product that a Bank will offer on your Student Account is a Free Overdraft Facility. This can come in handy for so many reasons, for example…

  • Bridging the gap at the start of the year if there is a delay to your student finance payment;
  • Having a source of available money for Deposit on next year’s house; Kit for clubs and societies; and Course books and materials.

A Student Overdraft is therefore a very useful ‘safety-net’, and it will remain Interest Free for the duration of your undergraduate studies. See the Money Saving Expert info on Student Bank Accounts for more details, current offers, and comparisons.

DSA

As a Higher Education student you can apply for additional help if you have a disability; long-term health condition; mental health condition; or specific learning difficulty like Dyslexia. The AccessAbility Centre can provide you with further information, assistance with assessments and applications, and advise on getting around campus safely. See gov.uk for more information on DSA.

Benefits

On the whole, Full-time students cannot claim Benefits, although there are some exceptions such as students with children; with partners on a low income; or with disabilities.

If you are an eligible Full-time student (as listed above) but unsuccessful in your Benefits claim, make sure of the following:

  • That your Student Finance includes the Special Support Grant (SSG) instead of the Maintenance Grant (because the SSG is disregarded in your income assessment); and
  • That you re-submit another claim for Benefits in the Summer Vacation (as your student finance does not cover this period).

If you’re already claiming Benefits you will need to tell the Authorities about your change in circumstances, as they might want to re-assess you. This can lead to a delay to your next payment and we would encourage you to see the Student Welfare Service if this happens.

If you are affected by the transition to Universal Credit please seek advice from your local Citizen’s Advice Bureau.

If you are part-time you can keep claiming Benefits, but you will need to tell the Authorities about your change in circumstances. You may also have to prove that any study you do won’t affect your ‘Jobseeker’s Agreement’.

Tax Credits

There are two types of Tax Credits:

  • Child Tax Credit (CTC) – which you’re eligible for if you have children
  • Working Tax Credit (WTC) – which you might be able to get if you or your partner work a certain amount of hours per week.

You might be able to claim one or both of these, depending on your circumstances, and irrespective of your course or study mode. Tax Credits Helpline number is 0345 300 3900.

Budgeting and Money Management

Could you do with a ‘Financial MOT’? We can help with your money management in as much depth as you feel you need, from simple tips to encourage you to spend less, through to serious debt issues.

Budgeting Sheet/Calculator

Some people like to write down all their Income and Expenditure, and then subtract the Expenditure from the Income. If you get a minus figure, then you’re spending too much!

If you feel this approach might help, here are some Online Resources to start you off…

See our Budgeting page for more tips.

Saving Money

Sometimes it's not always about getting more income, it can also be about spending less! Here's a few ideas:

  • Get a 16-25 Railcard even if you're over 25!  All full-time students are eligible for a 16-25 Railcard regardless of age.
  • Shop around for the best deal on your Utility Bills and Internet Provider.  Try USwitch for great deals.
  • Check your cash-flow... Do all your payments going out of your account coincide with cash coming in?
  • Money Saving Expert has a dedicated page for Student money issues, and well worth a visit!

Educational Grants

The Turn2Us website provides an online grant search where you can search depending on your personal circumstances. However, some Trusts are very small and do not have an online presence, and the book entitled The Guide to Educational Grants, which should be available at most main public/university libraries, is also a good point of reference.

Be aware that gaining funding from charities and grant awarding bodies can be subject to fulfilling quite specific criteria, and they will often have very limited funds.

Funding Been Delayed?

There are many reasons why this may happen and the first thing to establish is who needs to fix the situation: You, The Student Loans Company, the University of Leicester, or all of the above?

First things first…DO NOT PANIC!!! You will be paid all the money that is due to you in each academic year.

Have a look at our useful Flow-Chart which lists the main causes of delays to student finance payments, in order to troubleshoot your problem. This may be all the info you need to solve the problem, but if you still can’t sort it out, please contact the Student Welfare Service.

We can help you plan your expenses to take a delay to your funding into account, including help with negotiating payments.

Hardship Fund

Please see our dedicated page for more information.

Suspending Your Studies?

There is information on the procedure for suspending or withdrawing on the University of Leicester website, which describes the process and procedure you are expected to follow. The information provided however does not take into account your emotional wellbeing, or the financial issues that you may face, and because of this we advise you contact the Student Welfare Service to make an appointment and discuss your situation further.

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Opening hours

The Student Welfare Service is open from 9.00am to 5.00pm, Monday to Friday

Appointments can be made outside of these hours in special circumstances.

In an emergency, contact University Security on 0116 252 2888.

Contact Us

+44 (0)116 223 1185

welfare@le.ac.uk

Or visit us in the Student Service Centre, Charles Wilson Building