In debt and having problems managing money?

Students can find themselves in debt for many different reasons and sorting out money issues can be daunting and feel too much to deal with. It's important you get advice from a source you can trust. Never pay for debt advice, there are charities that will advise you for free and will advise in your best interest!


Where can I go to get free debt advice?

The following organisations can provide you with free advice. They are all free, confidential and non-judgemental:



National Debtline - a charity specialising in money advice and debt. There is lots of information on dealing with debts that is tailored to students and a confidential helpline to speak to a fully trained adviser. The service is free and non-judgemental. 


StepChange - another debt advice charity that has information specifically for students, they are a charity that has expertise in managing money and debt advice. Again they are confidential, impartial and free.


Citizens Advice  - CAB has a wealth of information on debt on their website. There are also local offices that can help with face to face advice, use the post code checker to see which one is closest to you.


Money Advice Service - another organisation that gives free money and debt advice. The Money Advice Service is part of the Money and Pensions Service.



Do you have any advice to get me started?

Debt advice involves a few simple steps to allow you to take back control of your finances.


  1. Maximising your income - this could include making sure you have received your maximum student loan, checking to see if you are entitled to any benefits or applying for grants. It could also be considering a part time job.

  2. Working out your personal budget - knowing where your money gets spent and how much you have left over after bills is a key part of regaining control over your finances. It is important to make sure your budget is comprehensive and realistic.

  3. Dealing with your priority debts - not all debts are equal, some have more serious consequences to not paying them such as rent and energy bills.

  4. Dealing with your non-priority debts - all other credit debts would then be looked into to see how much you could afford to pay .


National Debtline has a good financial guide for students.


We also have information about budgeting , income sources, and how you can save money on our Budgeting page.

I think there's been a mistake - what can I do?

Get in touch with creditors if you think they've made a mistake - for example, you may be getting electricity bills from before you moved into your house; you're being chased for a bill in someone else's name; or the amount is much higher than it should be.  


If you think something is wrong and your creditors aren't listening, come and speak to ASK!

I've seen I can easily get money from payday loans, should I do this?

It can be tempting to use payday lenders to get access to some money when things are tight. However, using payday loans always makes the situation worse in the long run and they have enormous rates of interest.

I'm concerned about my gambling, or someone else's gambling

Gamble Aware offers advice and support if you are concerned about your gambling or a friend or family member's gambling.  They also have quizzes and on-line calculators for you to check your gambling habits.


You can contact the National Gambling Helpline on Freephone 0808 8020 133.


GamCare can also help to provide advice and information and tell you what help may be available locally. They also have on-line chat room and forum and 'NetLine' where you can talk live to a trained adviser.