Final year students and graduates
An overview of what happens with your student loan, Council Tax, bank accounts and other financial issues when you graduate.
If you are in your final year at UWE Bristol, we are here to support you with your finances and help you manage your money.
Moving out of your student house
- Take meter readings and remember to close any utility accounts you have, such as gas and electric, internet or water.
- Update your address with your bank.
- Take a picture of your property and request your deposit back from your landlord. Remember that your landlord cannot deduct any money from your deposit for normal wear and tear. Your landlord should return your deposit no later than ten days after your tenancy ends. Find out more about deposit returns.
- Update your TV licence. It will not automatically move with you, so make sure you update your address to keep covered. Or you can apply for a refund for any unused months of cover if you no longer require a licence.
Council Tax exemption will end on the last day of your course, and you will become eligible after that date. For September starters, this is usually the end of June.
After you complete your studies and move out of student accommodation, the following Council Tax eligibility applies:
- If just one of the tenants is a non-student, there will be a 75% Council Tax charge payable.
- If two or more tenants are non-students, there will be a 100% Council Tax charge payable.
Living in a shared house
If you live in a shared household where each tenant has their own individual tenancy agreement, this is classed as a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO), and liability for Council Tax should be in the landlord’s name. You will need to notify your landlord that you are no longer a student, and they are then responsible for liaising with the local authority.
If you live with a partner who is a non-student, and you have been receiving the 25% reduction whilst you were studying, then this reduction will be removed when you cease to be a student, and a 100% Council Tax charge will be made.
If you live alone and have been exempt from Council Tax whilst studying, you will be issued a new bill with a 75% charge, which includes the single occupancy discount. Visit the Council Tax section on the Bristol City Council website for details.
If you claim and receive benefits at the end of term, you will be entitled to a Council Tax reduction to cover some or all of your share of the bill. For more information read the Council Tax student Council Tax FAQs.
Pay off any debt to the University
Ensure you pay any outstanding debt you have to the University promptly. For example, this could be tuition fees, library fines, short term loans or accommodation debt. Failure to pay off a debt could result in being denied attendance at Awards Ceremonies and the withholding of certificates and transcripts.
Open a graduate bank account
Most student bank accounts automatically change to a graduate one after three years, although this is not always the case. If it’s not then hefty overdraft charges can apply.
Sticking with your current bank may be the easy option, although it may not be the best choice financially - shopping around and finding the right graduate bank account can really pay off.
It’s easy to switch banks and there are lots of options out there, with most banks offering interest-free overdrafts for up to three years. Find out more on Money Saving Expert's graduate bank accounts information.
Switching to a graduate bank account can allow you to slowly pay off your overdraft with no extra or hidden charges.
When you find work, ensure your tax code is correct. Your tax code will tell your employer how much income tax to take from your pay.
Be prepared and create a budget. Remember, you will typically get paid monthly and may have travel or relocation costs to account for.
Repaying your student loan
If you have taken out a loan from Student Finance, the repayment is linked to your earnings and will be taken directly from your salary. However, most graduates pay little or nothing initially. There is a high chance you will not even repay the full amount you borrowed. Money Saving Expert has done some student loans myth-busting.
Re-payment will commence in April after you graduate and will be taken automatically. The amount you repay will increase/ decrease with your earnings.
Student loans do not affect your credit score.
If you’re self-employed or moving abroad you should contact your student loan body to request an alternative payment arrangement.
You can view up-to-date details on income thresholds and repayments via the SLC's loan repayment information.
Prescriptions are free or reduced for full-time students. If you are receive certain benefits after you have graduated, then the reduction remains. See the NHS guidance on help with health costs.
The benefits system is complicated, and the information below is just an overview.
If you are not working or on a low income, you may be eligible for Universal Credit. This is a welfare benefit from the UK government to help with living and housing costs. If you are currently receiving of one of the legacy benefits like Tax Credits, Housing Benefit, Employment and Support Allowance, seek specialist advice before claiming Universal Credit.
The following websites give further information and advice on welfare benefits:
Funding a Masters degree
Postgraduate Loans (PGL) are available from Student Finance England to cover fees and living costs. Student Finance Wales also offers a Postgraduate Loan, but the loan amount is different from Student Finance England. Repayment of the PGL will be repaid concurrently alongside your undergraduate student loan.
You may also be eligible for employer sponsorship or a loan from a high street bank to help cover costs.
Find out more about postgraduate funding.
Savings and pensions
It may seem like a stretch to save whilst paying off your student overdraft but it’s a great habit to get into. Putting away even just a few pounds a week can be a great start. Look into automatic money-saving apps to make this easy, as you can put away small amounts easily without even noticing.
You will usually have the option of paying into a pension scheme via your employer. Retirement may seem like a million miles away, but your future self will thank you for making provision for retirement.
BlackBullion is a valuable resource as you navigate the graduate world. Whether you intend to work, start your own venture, or think about further study, BlackBullion has all the info you need.