Finance for grads

Finances for grads

Managing your money after university

We discuss managing your money after graduation, with information on credit scores, taxes and making the most of your money.

Credit scores, repaying student loans and savings: there are so many things to think about when you leave university. We’re discussing some of those so you can start to get to grips with them.

Finances in your early 20s

Building a credit score

When it comes to your credit score, there are 2 things that could count against you: having a poor credit score, or having little to no credit history. If you have either of these, you may find it difficult to apply for credit – like a loan or a mortgage – in the future.

That means it’s important to build your credit score, and build it well. There are some simple things that you can do to start: pay off debts, pay your bills on time and avoid pay day loans.

Having regular Direct Debits that you pay on time every month can also boost your credit score. Credit cards can work in the same way – if you pay them off on time – but make sure you don’t overstretch yourself.

Paying income tax, national insurance and your student loan

When you start earning, you will also need to start paying income tax and National Insurance contributions. How this is collected depends on how you’re employed, for example it may be different if you’re employed by a company or self-employed.

The amount you’re taxed depends on what you earn. You can learn more about how it works on Gov.uk.  

When you start to earn a certain amount, you may need to start repaying your student loan. You can read more about that here.

Making the most of your money

When you start earning a regular salary, it’s easy to forget about saving. The Everyday Saver account is a good option for those starting to save. You can open an account with as little as £1 and still earn interest. You can take money out whenever you want to, so it’s not locked away.

You can also keep track of your money via the Barclays Mobile Banking app1 if you have a Barclays account. When you’re out, it saves you going to a cash machine to check your balance, you just log in to the app and everything you need is right there. You can do other things there too, like manage your card settings, report cards lost or stolen, make payments and manage your regular payments.


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