If you are thinking about doing a degree then it might be the student loan that could be a factor that is putting you off. This could be because you are concerned about the repayments and having a debt before you even start work. It is worth understanding how the loans work and then this should help you to be able to decide whether they are the right thing for you.

How much can you borrow?

There can sometimes be confusion over how much you can borrow with a student loan. This is because when most parents of teenagers were students (if they were) the system was very different. Ever student is entitled to borrow money to cover four full-time years of higher education study. A degree course will normally last for three years full-time and a masters for an additional year. Other post-graduate study, such as a PhD would not normally be funded. However, there may be exceptions to this within certain industries. There may be bursaries available for certain areas of study across many different professions and that will be something that the university will be able to advise you about.

Assuming that they will have to pay and have not borrowed before, then all students will be entitled to a loan which will cover their course fees. If fees go up, then the loan amount will go up as well. They may also be entitled to borrow money to pay for their living expenses as well. This is means tested though and better off families will not get it. So, it will depend on how much the household income is as to how much is allowed. However, even those students that get the full amount, may find that it will not be enough to cover their rent, bills, books, travel expenses, food and other things. This means that they may need to work part-time to supplement it or rely on their parents to help.

How do you repay?

Many parents and students worry about repayment of the loan. They feel that they do not want to be in debt for a long time and that the repayments will be a big burden. However, the repayments can be fairly straightforward and should be easy to manage. The repayments are means tested and taken out when you get taxed if you are employed or calculated as part of your self-assessment tax return if you are self-employed. The more you earn, the more you have to repay and if you earn nothing or very little then you will not need to make repayments at all. After thirty years, any remaining loan is written off, so you will not necessarily have to repay all of the loan. Most students do not repay it all, which means that they pay no interest and not even all of the balance that they owe back. This makes the repayments affordable.

If you can afford to pay the fees without borrowing then you might think that this will be cheaper for you than borrowing money. However, this will depend on how much you earn after you graduate. If you think that you will be a high earning job for the duration of the next 30 years after you graduate then you will repay the loan in full and also have to pay the interest so it will cost you more than using the money you have, unless you can get a better return on that money than you are paying in interest on the loan, especially if you have bad credit.

Some graduates can afford to repay their loan early and feel that they should do. Again, this is something that they should calculate as it can be tricky to know for sure. It is hard to predict the future and whether you will always be working and there able to repay the whole loan. If you feel you might stop working for a while to look after children or aging parents or that you might lose your job, go back to studying for a while or anything like this then you may not be earning enough over enough years to repay it in full. It is a gamble that you will have to take. As many calculations as you do, it will not allow you to see into the future and so you will have to make a calculated prediction as to which will be better financially. Of course, you may feel that it is your obligation to repay the loan in full as you got an education form it so you should pay for it. Some people feel that they should pay but others feel that if other people are getting it cheaper or free then they are entitled to that as well. It all depends on your way of thinking.

Electricity is something that we all use and it can be expensive. However, we do not have to just assume that we will have to pay a fortune for it. There are ways that you can reduce the amount that you are paying. It is worth trying some different methods to see whether you can reduce how much you are paying. Some are easier than others but it is worth considering all of them because the more that you do; the better the chances of saving money and the more money you can potentially save.

Compare providers

The first thing you should consider doing is to compare providers. There are lots of companies that supply electricity and you will probably find that there will be one that is cheaper than yours. Changing to a new supplier is very easy. The transition will be seamless with regards to the supply of electricity, but you will just have to read the meter so that your old supplier can charge you for everything that you used with them and your new one will know when to start charging you. This is pretty simple and most people have read their meter before so will know what to do.

The hardest part of the job is probably choosing which supplier to swap to. Finding out how much they cost is fairly simple but knowing who will be the best is a bit harder. However, you can use a comparison website to help you to choose. You will be able to put in the detail of how much electricity you tend to use and they will provide you with a list of suppliers and how much they will charge you. This is a great first step as you will be able to find out how much you will be likely to be charged and whether you are paying a lot more than necessary. The main two factors that you might want to use to compare them as well as price is whether they have green energy and what their customer service is like. If neither of these is important then you will probably just go with the cheapest but otherwise you might be prepared to pay a bit more.

Check if it is cheaper to have dual fuel

If you also use gas, then it could be a good idea to also check to see whether you get a discount for buying both gas and electric as sometimes you will get a dual fuel discount. It is not always cheaper to do it this way, but it can be and so it is worth considering. Make sure that you compare this and decide whether it is something that you think you should do.

Get interest on your money

Many electric companies will give you several options for paying. They may allow you just pay exactly what you owe or pay more than you owe in the summer so that you build up credit and then in the winter you can pay less and it makes it easier to budget. This can mean that the electricity company have your money and they can earn interest on it. If you do not pay that extra and put it into a savings account yourself, then you will be able to get the interest yourself. Of course, you will need to be very careful and make sure that you do not spend the money or else you will be short and not able to pay the bill when it is more expensive in the winter.

Some utility companies will offer you interest on any money that you have outstanding on your bill. It can be worth looking into this and see whether the interest that they offer is in line or more than you get in your bank. If it is the same or more then it is worth doing because you will not be able to spend it so easily, so it will be a great way of budgeting and you will get paid for doing it.

Use less electric

Being careful with how much power we use can make a big difference to our bill. This is because all of the small savings will add up. So, if you turn off lights when you are not in a room, turn off appliances you are not using, turn off heating when you are out and things like this all of those small savings will mean that you are not spending so much money. You might think that it is not worth it, but why spend money on these things when you have no need to? If you replace appliances with more energy efficient ones when they break down, then you can save electricity on those as well. It can really make a big difference and you will be helping the planet too.