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Student News

Maint Loan too Small, 0800 Numbers Free on Mobile, Tuition Fee Rise?

Maintenance loan leaves students short of £265 a month

survey-newsThe results of the yearly National Student Money Survey (run by us) are in – and they make for quite a depressing read.

80% of students worry about their financial situation mainly due to the maintenance loan. Our survey shows that 2 in 3 students cannot afford to live off the loan, and leaves them short of £265 on average every month. Read the full results here.

Our take: We know students struggle, but getting actual information is a great way of showing others (especially those in charge) the bare facts about student finance – and that change is needed. Desperately.

Unis want higher tuition fees

Loans not saving moneyUniversities UK, an organisation for universities in the UK (in case you couldn’t tell by the name) have called for limit on tuition fees to be lifted so universities can charge more.

They say that letting unis charge more will mean more funding, so the students will get better value for money. They also want an increase in the maintenance support for students – so that’s something.

Our take: Given that 55% of students who answered our survey (cheeky little plug) don’t think their course is worth the money, what will an increase in fees really do? It’s technically the Government’s money still, just being lent to us, so shouldn’t they just invest more money in to the education system? We cannot, however, disagree with their comments about maintenance loans/grants. Students are struggling (see our survey).

Plusnet best for customer service

plusnet-serviceA poll by MSE looking at broadband and home phone service has shown that Plusnet are the best for customer service. 70% of users said their home phone service was ‘great’, whereas 68% said the same for broadband.

AOL have come bottom in the poll – only 20% of customers thought their broadband service was ‘great’, 42% thought it was ‘poor’.

Our take: Plusnet are pretty cheap when it comes to their service (check them out) – but they must be doing something right, given that their customer service has been rated better than the big guns like Sky and Virgin! Don’t settle for poor service – you can complain or switch. We’ve compared the best broadband deals here.

0800 numbers now free from mobiles

shouting phone0800 and 080 numbers are commonly referred to as ‘freephone’ numbers – which was kind of misleading, as they were only free from landlines.

Ofgem have now ruled that the numbers should be free from mobiles as well. Now there should be fewer surprises – and you should also save money! (Always a bonus).

Our take: A lot of important companies use 0800 numbers – like businesses and Student Finance. Given that ringing companies usually means a life time on hold, it’s great that the numbers are finally free for all users.

More students turning to payday lenders

Payday loans regulationAnother survey, this time by the accommodation provider Unite Students, suggests that more students are using payday lenders when the money just doesn’t stretch far enough.

Their survey also suggests that 600,000 students have financial difficulties, and over 26,000 of these use payday lenders.

Our take: Having two major student survey results released in a week doubles the power we can have to change things, however this doesn’t help current students, who are facing difficulties. We have some money lessons here and loads of other guides here for everything from saving money on a night out to surprising foods you can freeze.


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