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National Student Money Week: Avoiding risky behaviour

A blog by your Student Funding team.

Avoiding debt

University can be costly, and some may consider borrowing money to help with costs while studying. It's important to understand the risks of borrowing, which loans are riskier than others, and which are best avoided.

Understanding credit is the first step to being able to use it responsibly. Check out the explanation on our Risky Debts webpage. We also have information on the riskiest debts, including short-term borrowing and "buy now pay later" loans. Have you ever used Klarna? And do you know all of the risks if you don't pay off what you owe in 3 months?

We also have great resources to help you avoid illegal loans from loan sharks. Stop Loan Sharks share their top tips on what to look out for, as well as ways to contact them to safely report a loan shark if you or someone you know needs help.

If you have already built up a problem debt, then we have online resources that can help.

Avoiding risky investments

The 'guarantee' of doubling your investment into cryptocurrency or the bargains on Facebook Marketplace might seem like unmissable opportunities, but without proper precautions, these risk-taking behaviours can quickly lead to issues with your financial or personal safety.

Many us are familiar with the risks of gambling, but what about gaming? With the rise of loot boxes and microtransactions, gaming is closer to gambling than ever. The addictive nature of gaming can now be compared to gambling, with gaming disorder posing a debilitating risk to your mental health. Look at our webpage to find the signs of harm in yourself or others, as well as how to get help.

Cryptocurrency has also become a well-known phenomenon. Read this summary on the webpage, or follow the links to more detailed guides from Save the Student and the Financial Conduct Authority.

Avoiding scams and fraud

Criminals often try to get access to students' money through scams and fraud, so understanding what scams are and how to protect yourself will help keep your money safe. Often, scams will be in the form of text messages or emails which may look genuine but are trying to get personal information from you.

Some of the scams you should look out for are energy scams and purchase scams. Find more information about how to protect yourself from these and other scams on our dedicated webpage.

Criminals are also targeting students and young people to become money mules. This involves letting someone use your bank account to transfer money, which you then get to keep a small amount for yourself before passing the money on. However, this money is usually profits from criminal activity and if you get caught, you could get a criminal record. We have a link to a short film about money mules on our website. and you can see our dedicated webpage with useful resources about money mules and how to protect yourself here.


If you need any support with your money during the year you can contact Student Funding Support by email ( or telephone (024 7615 0096) Monday to Thursday 8.30 – 5.00 or Friday 8.30 – 4.00. Alternatively, you can drop in and see us by going to the Wellbeing Reception in Senate House between 10am and 3pm Monday-Friday.