National Student Money Week blog of the day – Thinking of taking time out or making a change? Seek financial advice first

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Things don’t always go to plan and if you need to take time out, change course, or something else, be sure to check what the financial implications might be. That way you can make an informed decision, focus on what is really important and hopefully not worry later.

The Advisers in the Student Advice Service have decades, yes decades of advice experience, so you know you can trust the information we give you.

If you need to take time out from your course, we call this ‘intermitting’. You agree an intermitting date with your school (this could be your Course Leader or a Student Support and Guidance Tutor). At this stage, you may agree some keeping in touch contact arrangements and possibly a return date, but this will depend on the structure of the course modules and your personal circumstances. You shouldn’t just stop attending and not tell anyone as we’ll worry about you and you will continue to be charged tuition fees.

If you need to leave where you are living, whether this is Halls, UniHome or private accommodation, check the small print in your tenancy about ending your tenancy early.

If you have an individual agreement, the arrangement will be between you and the Landlord/agent. You will usually have to pay a fee to break your tenancy. If you are in Halls or a UniHome, you will need to give your notice in writing and return your keys to the local Accommodation/Halls office. There will be a small admin fee. The Accommodation office will endeavour to find someone to take your place, but if this isn’t possible, you may continue to be liable for the payments until the end of the contract unless you have unusual circumstances. You can find the full contractual terms here. The exception to this is if you are withdrawing from uni, in which case there will only be the admin fee to pay. You cannot stay in Halls if you have been withdrawn from your course.

If you are living in a private rented place as a joint tenant with others, things get a bit more complicated. It may be your/your house/flatmates responsibility to find a replacement, plus you might still be charged even if you do find someone. Always seek a second, trusted opinion. If you don’t know anyone who wants the room, the Accommodation team can recommend where to advertise for tenants so do seek their expert advice.

You will probably need to add the new tenant to the agreement unless you are subletting (which many Landlords/agents won’t allow). Make sure your name is removed from the agreement and take meter readings for all utilities before you leave. This will help you calculate your share up until this point. If you can take a photo of each reading, even better.

If you are intermitting and you want to stay where you are, great, as long as you can afford it. If you’re working whilst you intermit, you are still treated as a student for Council Tax purposes, so as long as everyone in the property is a student, the whole property remains exempt from Council Tax. If you then decide to withdraw from the course, you will automatically become liable to pay Council Tax for the whole property so this can suddenly become very expensive.

As soon as you intermit, your funding will stop and this may result in an overpayment of funding which you will be asked to repay. Only in very exceptional circumstances can you apply to continue to receive student finance whilst not in attendance and you should seek advice from the Student Advice Service to find out more. We can also support you through  the university hardship fund, which is called the Student Support Fund, as this is available to students who are intermitting and we can explore the possibility of you claiming DWP benefits, which is a whole new level of complicated.

As soon as you start to plan your return to study, contact us if you require help with your next student finance application.

If you withdraw, your funding will also stop, which will come as no surprise. You will become liable to enter into a repayment plan with Student Loans Company from the April after you start earning £25,000 (this is an increase to the repayment threshold effective from April 2018). This applies to undergraduates who fall under the Plan 2 scheme.

Chris Chesman, UoB graduate, produced an excellent House Hunting Good Practice Guide which has some excellent student focused hints and tips.

Think you’re savvy with energy costs? Take our Money Week quiz. You could win a prize of handy household goods.

Throughout Money Week, we’ll be publishing different articles in support of the national theme Where I Live. You can also find the Student Advisers (and esteemed guests) out and about this week at each campus with the Money Week roadshow. Today we’re rolling in to Eastbourne campus, so come along to Sprinters cafe between 12pm – 2pm with all your housing related money questions.

See you there!

Student Advice Service


Helen is the Student Advice Service Manager within Student Services and is based in Tithe Barn on the Moulsecoomb campus

Posted in National Student Money Week

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