Skip to main content

Life After University

Your money and life after University

Leaving university has an impact on your finances and your eligibility for specific financial products. From council tax to your TV licence, your financial status will change. The money advice service has produced useful tools for graduates. These should help you with the transition to life after university.


For further information and support about your options after graduation contact our Careers Service. You can access the service for 3 years after you have graduated.


You won’t be able to claim benefits until after your official leaving date. Once you’re eligible you should apply for benefits as it’s unlikely you’ll get any backdated payments unless you have a good reason why you didn’t apply sooner. If you’re not going straight into work you can get help with benefit applications from the Student Advice Centre.

Further study

If you want to take further study you should look into the funding that is available to you before you commit to a new course. You might not get a tuition fee loan or maintenance loan if you take a second or subsequent undergraduate degree.

If you intend to undertake a postgraduate course you should start researching sources of funding about 12 to 18 months before the course starts. The master's loan is currently £11,222, but it is important to note that this is a contribution to your studies and will not fully fund a course.

Repaying Debts to the University

You might owe money to us for:

  • accommodation costs
  • library fines
  • emergency loans

In order to clear these debts you should contact the relevant service.

Repaying External Debts

If you owe money to external organisations it may be beneficial to seek specialist debt advice to help you manage and repay these debts:

  • for 1 year after you’ve left you can get help from the Student Advice Centre
  • you can get extra help from independent external agencies such as National Debtline or Stepchange
  • the Student Advice Centre and independent charities will not charge you for the debt management advice they provide

Repaying your student loan

If you’ve taken a student loan during your studies:

  • repayments will start the April after you leave the University (if you are earning above the relevant income threshold)
  • the amount you repay will depend on the amount you earn, not the amount of your debt
  • the amount you repay will depend on what year your course started
  • payments will be deducted directly from your pay (via PAYE)
  • if you’re self-employed or moving abroad you should contact SFE to request an alternative payment arrangement
  • you can make additional overpayments without penalty

It’s important to keep tabs of your repayments; you can do this by logging into the Student Loan Company repayment portal.

Interest-free Student Overdraft

You might currently have a student bank account with a large interest free overdraft; before you leave you should check the terms and conditions of the account as some banks may:

  • convert your student account into an ordinary current account which will remove your interest free overdraft
  • significantly reduce your overdraft facility
  • continue to offer an interest free overdraft but only for a short period of time

Check with your bank before you graduate as exceeding authorised overdraft limits can result in high penalty charges which can affect your credit rating. If you think you can get a better bank account you can compare various graduate bank accounts available to you.

Council Tax Exemption

Once you are no longer a student you won’t be exempt from paying council tax. You will be liable to pay council tax until the end of your tenancy agreement, even if you move out of your current property.

TV Licence Refund

If you leave your accommodation stop using your TV licence before it expires you might be able claim a refund for any unused quarter (three consecutive calendar months).

Tenancy Deposit

At the end of your tenancy you should be aware of the following:

  • check you’re leaving the property and its contents in the condition in which it was let to you
  • check that you have paid your rent and any other expenses
  • agree with your landlord or agent how much of the deposit should be returned to you
  • if your deposit is in the Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme this should be returned to you within 10 days (contact the Citizens Advice Bureau if you have any problems)
  • take meter readings and tell your energy providers you are moving out so you aren’t held responsible for charges that aren’t yours.