Buy-Now-Pay-Later? What is it and should I avoid it?

You may not be familiar with the term Buy-now-pay-later (BNPL), but you may have seen lenders you have done any online shopping in the lead up to Christmas. BNPL Lenders such as Klarna (the UK’s largest provider), Clearpay and LayBuy are names you may see when you get to the checkout on your favourite websites such as ASOS, Pretty Little Thing and JD Sports.

BNPL firms allow people to split the cost of their shopping into “more manageable” chunks over time or by “postponing” their bill interest-free.

Currently, more than 17 million UK customers have used BNPL companies to make online purchases, company data has shown.

Citizens Advice have released figures that 1 in 10 Buy Now Pay Later shoppers have been chased by debt collectors. Rising to 1 in 8 for young people.

The risk with how BNPL companies operate is the fact that it is not primarily based on credit. If you were to get a credit card or a loan, for example, the companies would run a credit check on yourself to ensure that your credit score is high enough to allow for the repayments. With most credit cards, if you don’t meet your payments you will get charged interest. 

However, BNPLs do not run credit checks or charge interest. They assume customers will be able to meet the repayments be it weekly or monthly. The issues arise when payments are not made, fees for missed payments will then be charged. If any payments are missed BNPLs will often refer the customer to debt collection agencies instead to recoup the costs. (Please note, terms and conditions vary between companies).

As it currently stands, BNPL lenders are currently unregulated and there are calls from certain MPs to ask retailers to stop using BNPLs on their websites until it is properly regulated. However, regulation is in the pipeline.

Around the festive period, it is very easy to get absorbed in all the commercialism and need and want to gift people. However, within the Financial Guidance Team, we advise students to use the Money Saving Expert Mantra to ask themselves the following questions prior to purchasing.

·         Do I need it?

·         Can I afford it?

·         Will I use it?

So, prior to making any purchases, take a moment, pause and think of the mantra. If you can’t afford something today. Why don’t you save up and buy it tomorrow? 

If you are planning on making any purchases in the lead up to Christmas, ensure that you make the most of all the money-saving opportunities as a student through the numerous Student Discount providers. Such as UniDays, Student Beans and Totum.

Getting the most out of your bank account – part one

University may be the first time you’ve needed to manage your own money – and getting into good habits with your bank account can help. Although we can’t tell you who to bank with or guarantee that your balance will always be in credit, we can advise you on how to take simple steps to make the most of your account – and your money – with our two-part guide.

Continue reading “Getting the most out of your bank account – part one”

Five ways to get financially ready for university!

Whether you are starting university for the first time or continuing on your course this Autumn, there are several simple ways in which you can manage your finances more effectively– so you can focus on your studies and enjoy the opportunities university offers, rather than worrying about money!

Even if you struggled with money last year, it’s not too late to start afresh for the upcoming year – all it takes is a little time dedicated to planning ahead.  

Here are our five ways to get ready financially for university:

Continue reading “Five ways to get financially ready for university!”

One piece of money advice for a prospective student – part 2

Going to university is exciting, but it can also be daunting – especially if you’re having to manage your money for the first time.

If you’re starting university this year, here are some tips on student finance and funding from some of our current students* to help you get it right; part 1 – which considers applying for funding, budgeting, and student bank accounts – can be found here.

Part 2 – which looks at shopping, learning to cook, part-time work, and where to find further support – is below. Continue reading “One piece of money advice for a prospective student – part 2”

Top 5 good money habits to start

Starting new habits doesn’t mean having to completely change your life. Although making adjustments to your usual behaviour can be scary, even taking small steps can help  improve your wellbeing – as well as your bank balance.

Continue reading “Top 5 good money habits to start”

Money dangers – Don’t be a money mule!

‘Fancy some easy money – with no strings attached?’

If you’re in the red and looking for easy ways to make money, you could be in danger of becoming a money mule.

Continue reading “Money dangers – Don’t be a money mule!”

Welcome to University 2018/19

Welcome to the University of Northampton! Whether you are a new or a returning student, we hope you have a fantastic experience studying with us at our new Waterside campus. Money is often a cause of concern for students so here is a checklist to help you get into good habits early when managing your money:

Continue reading “Welcome to University 2018/19”

Beginning of term money FAQs for 2018/19

At the start of term, we receive many queries relating to student finance and funding. Here is a list of the most typical questions – and answers – to help you while you study with us.

Continue reading “Beginning of term money FAQs for 2018/19”

Top 10 ways to manage your money

Money is often a concern for students. This Guardian article features second years discussing  how they spent their money during their first year – most agree that taking steps to manage your finances is key!

By not leaving your finances to chance, you then can spend more time enjoying your studies and your life at university without worrying about your bank balance.

Here are our top 10 ways to manage your money to get you started:

Continue reading “Top 10 ways to manage your money”

New term – new budget

It’s the summer term and with this comes your final instalment of funding for this academic year. You now need to stretch your money for this term and possibly also the summer too. It’s not as scary as it sounds – see below for our guide to keeping on top of your finances for the final term and beyond.

Continue reading “New term – new budget”