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Life after university

What’s next?

How do you manage your money after graduation? Find out about credit scores, taxes, making the most of your money and paying off your overdraft.

There are so many things to think about when you leave university. Here’s how you can start to get to grips with them.

Tips for paying off your student overdraft

Starting a new job and earning a regular salary is a great feeling, but make sure you’re aware of how much you’re spending (and if you’re in your overdraft). Managing your money will help you keep on top of things.

To help with staying out of your overdraft, you could try prioritising your spending in terms of importance and take care of essentials first

1. Rent and household bills

2. Food

3. Essential travel (like to work and college)

4. Overdraft or credit card payments

5. Savings

6. Personal treats (like holidays)

Once you’ve budgeted for these, you can work out what’s left over. Check out our handy tips on budgeting

When you’ve worked out your budget, you can set a goal to pay off your overdraft. If you’ve got an interest-free overdraft until a certain date, it’s best to pay back the overdrawn amount before interest charges start because the charges can quickly add up. 

The Barclays app 1can help you control your day-to-day finances. It offers you 

• Spending categorisation to show where you’re spending and whether you can make savings

• Calendar view, which makes it easy to check when payments are due

• Payment alerts, which tell you when money goes in or out of your account

• Notifications that help you manage the way you use your overdraft – for example, letting you know when you use it, and when you’re near your limit

If you don’t use the app, or haven’t enabled push notifications, we’ll text the notifications about your overdraft to you instead. If you don’t want them, you can switch them off in Online Banking, by calling Telephone Banking or by speaking to us in a branch.

If you’d like a bit of help with setting up a budget, you can chat to one of our Money Mentors.

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.

Make the most of your money

Our app is a great way to stay on top of your finances. It lets you check your balance on the go, temporarily freeze your card, make payments to friends and family and report cards lost or stolen. See what else our app can do


Whatever your age and situation, it’s always a good idea to have some savings. We’ve got a range of savings accounts to help you save for the future – whatever it brings. Want to keep your savings on track using your app? Go to ‘Products’, then ‘Savings and ISAs’ for more information.

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Life after graduation

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Whether you’re moving, travelling or starting your first job, we’ll give you a hand. Get inspiration, support and rewards with an account designed just for you.