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Money Advice Update Spring 2016

Good news on funding

The Online Money Clinic team has been responding to your enquiries and thinking about how we can help Medics with money. To get in touch with us all you need to do is fill out an easy online form on the Money4MedStudents website. You need to give us some details about yourself and your questions and we will get back to you within 2 working days with tailored advice.

It has been a time of some confusion for many prospective students considering second degree medicine, as the details for funding in 2016 were not confirmed. There is still some information we do not have, but the good news is that Student Finance England have confirmed that current arrangements for medicine will continue.

Graduates entering a 5 year course will still need to fund their fees themselves for the first 4 years (before moving to NHS funding) but can continue to receive the loan for living costs. With the changes to student finance this loan has increased to a maximum of £8,200 a year, leaving second degree medical students with a little more than previously.

For those on the 4 year Accelerated Graduate Programmes there has also been some confusion, as the initial funding package for this course was only announced up until 2015 entry. This has, however, been continued into 2016 and with the increase in Loans students will be better off on this programme as well.

 

Househunting

For many students currently studying, the start of the calendar year is a time when you will be looking to secure accommodation for next academic year. While it may seem a long time away often the housing market moves fast and is very competitive – or is it?

Housing is the single biggest expense after fees for most students, so on a limited budget it makes sense to make good housing choices. We have complied a few tips to help:

1)   Know the market.  Landlords (and other students) may offer advice about house hunting which might not be fully accurate. For example, here in Leeds, where the advisors are based there is always a rumour that student housing will run out, when in fact there are thousands of surplus bed-spaces each year. So students who sign early pay more, as landlords who have not let until later get worried and are more likely to make a deal. Check what the situation is where you are and plan your househunting accordingly.

2)   Bargain with your landlord. If you know the market works in your favour then you can try and get more for your money – do you want better furniture, a new TV or a dishwasher.  Think about things that will save you money if they are included in your rent.

3)   Think about bills.  All rented property must now have an Energy Performance Certificate – this will give you an idea of how expensive it will be to run the house – heating bills can be high.  Also, do you need a bills inclusive contract? Whether your Landlord, or an external company manages this you may pay more.

4)   Get your contract checked – many student unions offer this service. You can check up on signing fees, late rent charges, hidden costs, and generally make sure you know what you are signing.

5)   And on the subject of signing fees… …don’t pay them. Look for Landlords who don’t charge you huge fees for 10 minutes work signing a piece of paper.

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