Store Cards

Are always poor value - avoid them, even if the 10% off your first purchase may sound tempting. You will always end up paying far more than this in interest charges, unless you are disciplined enough to pay the balance off in full each month.

Career Development Loans

If you are intending to continue studies beyond your first degree, then a variety of subsidised Career Development Loans may be available to you. These are offered by commercial banks such as Lloyds TSB or the Co-operative Bank, although they are not at quite the same attractive rates as those offered by the Student Loans Company. If you are merely continuing an extended vocational course such as Medicine or Architecture, they your student loan should cover you through to the end of your professional studies.

Graduate loans

Once you have completed your course, a variety of graduate loans may be made available to you at much lower raes than standard borrowing terms. These are usually available within two years of graduation, and may be repaid over a term up to five years. Even if you take out a small graduate loan on completion of your studies, you can usually top this up later if you need to. If you are coming towards the end of your final year, and have a reasonable amount of space on your credit card, then you may find it preferable to use this for the time being, and to transfer the balance over to a graduate loan as soon as you are able to do so. Over the long run, this will usually work out as much better value than the balance transfer offers you will be tempted with for other credit cards, as these often only last for 6 months.

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