27 Jun University Students Face Tight Financial Situation
With the new university term in full flow, both students and parents alike are being reminded of the financial anxieties higher education can bring.
In research carried out by Abbey, nearly a third (330,000) of students are due to start the academic year without any form of insurance to protect their possessions. Out of these respondents, an estimated 154,000 people have either not taken the time to think about getting cover or do not see their belongings as being worth enough money to warrant such a purchase. Meanwhile, 99,000 did give insurance consideration but stated that they had forgotten or ended up using the money originally intended to make such a purchase to buy something else, while some 77,000 claim to be unable to afford cover.
However, with the typical student taking 3,300 pounds worth of belongings with them to university, those without insurance may find financial pressures upon them rising if they are forced to meet the full costs of replacing items should they become a victim of theft. As a result, this could cause them to struggle in meeting demands on other areas of their finances, such as credit cards and loans. Meanwhile, the study showed that a tenth of students are taking goods valued at more than 5,000 pounds.
Prasad Shastri, head of insurance marketing for the financial services firm, stated that although the cost of higher education can put pressure on consumers’ spending, which may extend to other areas of their money management such as personal loans in later life, by not getting insurance they could be left open to greater financial risk.
He said: “Even though finances can be tight while at university, with a potential total value of belongings in excess of 3,000 pounds, students should not be viewing insurance as an optional extra, but as a necessity. Over 60,000 students believe the value of their belongings does not justify buying insurance, but we find many people are shocked with how much their belongings are actually worth. For the one in five students (19 per cent) who are hoping to rely on their parents’ policy for protection, we would also advise that they double-check this as they may not actually be covered.”
The most popular item to be found in a student’s room is a computer, with 95 per cent of students owning such an object. Books came second in the poll as they are in 92 per cent of respondents’ rooms. Meanwhile, TVs and stereos account for 61 and 53 per cent respectively, with musical equipment making up 27 per cent.
In related news, it has recently been suggested that those attending university for the first time should be offered guidance on how to manage their finances effectively. Last month, a spokesperson from the National Union of Students reported that as they are now living away from home and have access to forms of borrowing such as credit cards and loans, young adults should be taught the importance of creating a budget, how best to pay off their bills and other demands on their finances. And as a result of doing so consumers may be able to develop a responsible attitude towards their money management, which could mean they are in a more capable position to make payments on secured loans and mortgages in later life.
Steve A Smith