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Navigating finances as a student with our Student Content Creators & Lowes Financial

By Diya and Emma, Student Content Creators

Come with our Student Content Creators, Diya and Emma, to meet Michael and Helen from Lowes Financial for advice about navigating finances as a student!

Join Diya and Emma as they meet Michael Dodds, a Newcastle University graduate, and Helen Grieves, both from Lowes Financial, and find out more about their roles!


"What is the easiest way for students to keep tracking of their spending?"


"A lot of people’s student loans don’t even cover their accommodation costs, are there other places students can go to for financial support so that they can still go to university?"


"Do you have any advice how to save money effectively without sacrificing time spent with friends?"


"Taking into account the cost of living increases, how much should a student in Newcastle expect to spend per week on things like bills, food and transport?"


"If a student finds a friend or course mate who’s struggling with money, what’s the best way to approach them without making them feel uncomfortable?"


"It’s easy to feel bad asking your family for money, especially when you know they’re also experiencing the same cost of living increases as you are.

How can students go about talking about to their family about their financial situation?"


"I’m a final year student and will be graduating real soon. I’m quite apprehensive about the job market and navigating my finances during this time.

Do you have any advice or strategies I can adopt during this time?"


"Michael, as a graduate of Newcastle University, how did you find your spending habits change after you graduated and what advice would you give to other students graduating this year?"


A big thank you to Michael and Helen for sitting down and pointing us to some amazing resources to help us through these troubling times!



Emma and Diya also had some important questions for Newcastle University's own Student Financial Support Team.

If a student doesn’t have family they can ask for money, who should be the first person they go to for help?

The Student Financial Support Team, which is part of the Student Health and Wellbeing Service, is available to provide support to students from any background including students who don’t have family that they can ask for money. 

The Team offer a range of a support which includes:
o    the discretionary Student Financial Student Fund and Financial Assistance Fund to help students struggling to cover their living costs;
o    short-term interest free emergency funding where students are in immediate financial difficult with little to no funds available;
o    Student Finance Advisers who can help students check they’re accessing all the financial support they’re eligible for and work with students who are interested in developing or improving their money management skills. 

It may not be possible to ask family for financial support as the rising cost of living is putting pressure on family finances or it could be that a student does not have any contact with their family. Whatever the reason the Student Financial Support Team are here to help. 

Further support and resources are available to assist estranged students who are not in contact with their families. 

Some students need lots of materials for their courses, can they get help to cover these? 

If students have accessed all funding sources available to them but find they’re struggling to cover their living costs and course-related expenditure they can submit an application to either the Student Financial Support Fund (UK students only) or the Financial Assistance Fund (International and EU students only)

These funds are available on a discretionary basis and will take into account a student’s income and expenditure for their full academic year. As part of the application process students are asked to provide information about the course costs they expect to incur, including any compulsory field trips. The assessment process factors in that some courses will incur higher course costs than others.

Students who don’t have access the IT equipment needed to engage with their course can also apply to the discretionary Student IT Hardship Fund.  Any student can apply to this scheme if they do not have access to a suitable device and / or internet connection where they are experiencing financial difficulties and are unable to access the other IT provision provided by the University. 

Support with course costs provided by academic schools is variable but students should always approach their school if they are struggling with course related expenditure to see what school-specific support may be available.  Students can also access a range of software from the University’s IT Service.


If a student runs out of food and they have no money, where should they go? Who can help them?

If a student runs out food and they do not have any money they should contact the Student Financial Support Team as soon as possible (student.fin-supp@ncl.ac.uk) to enquire about the discretionary short-term emergency funding scheme. The team is available 9:00am to 5:00pm, Monday to Friday.

The student will be asked to complete a short online application to tell us more about their financial situation and the basic costs they need help with in the short term (usually a two week period). Students applying for this funding will also need to provide a bank statement for all of their bank accounts showing their current balance(s) and recent transactions.  

Emergency funding applications (where all information has been provided) will usually be processed within 24 hours. Interest-free loans can be paid as Tesco spend cards or e-vouchers, a Yordex pre-payment card, a BACS transfer or a combination of any of these payment methods depending on individual circumstances.  

In some instances the Team can provide non-repayable support but if a loan is offered students will only ever need to repay whatever they have loaned them. Emergency loans don’t accrue interest like payday loans nor do they affect credit scores. 

If a student receives a loan from the Student Financial Support Team and is unable to repay the loan by the agreed date they should contact the Team as soon as possible to see what other support the Team can provide. 

Students also have access to a free food pantry in the Students’ Union that can help with dry cupboard foods, hygiene products, stationery and donated clothing. 


Find out more about how the Student Financial Support Team may be able to help you.
For further support and resources, please visit the Cost of Living Support webpage.


By Student Content Creators: Diya, third-year English Literature with Creative Writing student and Emma, first-year Biology student.