Desperate medical student: How do I get myself out of debt? Watch

Anonymous #1
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I've made this anonymous as I don't want my money issues being linked to my TSR account, and I'm asking it in the medicine forum as I feel fellow med students will be able to give advice specific to myself

I'm currently in third year and over the past year and a half I've found myself delving deeper into my overdraft - I'm now at the limit of my overdraft and there are still 2 months until I get my next loan.

I've been pretty irresponsible with my money - I have some mental health problems and I struggle with impulses - but I'm ready to sort myself out as I'm sick of stressing about if I can pay next month's rent.

Another part of the issue is that in 3rd year I'm mostly in placement, and the extra costs for travel are immense compared to the first two years. My uni only reimburse the cost of 1 months travel.

I can't get help from family as mine come from a lower income background. I've resorted to taking a loan out from smart-pig a few times, but now it's just a vicious cycle - I pay back smart-pig (with interest) when I get my student loan, and coupled with paying into the overdraft, I'm left with a meagre amount at the start of the term. I now know I shouldn't have taken out a loan with them in the first place, but I was desperate!

I've applied to many part time jobs, and I still am, but nobody is giving me interviews where I live. Plus with exams coming up I feel that being in placement every day 9-5 with no study leave means I don't really have time for a part time job anyway.
My university has an "access to hardship" fund but the deadline to apply for it passed last month when I wasn't worrying about my funds.

I know I need to make a budget and stick to it, and I will do that. This post is mainly to ask people for advice on what I can do to get myself out of my overdraft and replenish lost funds so I can make the most of the full amount of my student loan again, instead of it all going straight into the overdraft / paying back smart-pig.

Does anyone have any creative ideas on how I can slowly build myself back out of the overdraft and raise extra funds to pay off the loan? Taking into consideration that most of my time is spent in hospital placement and this summer will be spent (probably) revising for resits.

Ideally something that has been tried and tested yourself!

Thanks in advance!
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ajones668
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Hey, sorry to hear you’re going through this and I understand it’s hard to get out of the cycle. Ngl if I was you I’d speak to the finance/student advisors at your uni, I’m sure they’d have better tips on how to deal w it and might help you budget your loans or smth to help you no go over your overdraft. Good luck
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mylifeisajoke
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Best thing to do is work, even if it is part-time. Have a chat with the student finance department at your university and explain your situation and they may be able to help you by giving you some extra money in your student loan. If push comes to shove, ask grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins and other members of your extended family.
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by Decipher)
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They accept you based on your potential to be a good doctor, not what's in your bank account. Please don't be judgemental because that's not what I've asked for. Medical students have problems too.
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MyGEMJourney
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Talk to your uni. This definitely isn’t uncommon at university especially med students! You will get the help you need, I highly doubt theyd leave you in the dust (they’ve also spent a **** load training you in return for 4 years work at the end correct?).
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AlwaysBroke.
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(Original post by Decipher)
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A lot of assumptions made here.

If OP was picked for something as competitive as medicine, especially from coming from a lower background, OP literally deserves good advice and help. Oh not to mention if OP was picked for medicine, op probably deserves it.

Get out of here with your judging ass. Be optimistic and supportive.
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by mylifeisajoke)
Best thing to do is work, even if it is part-time. Have a chat with the student finance department at your university and explain your situation and they may be able to help you by giving you some extra money in your student loan. If push comes to shove, ask grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins and other members of your extended family.
My extended family all live in a different country and I'm not in contact with them. I think I will have to make an appointment with the uni. I was just hoping it wouldn't get to that. Thanks for the tips
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Kian Stevens
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(Original post by Decipher)
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This. All this.

Why didn't you think to get a job beforeyou got yourself into this? How can you expect to live on loan after loan, with no additional income? There's absolutely no magic trick us at TSR can recommend to get you out of an overdraft which, by the sounds of things, is getting quite large. This is entirely your responsibility - as a third year medicine undergraduate, it seems very immature to even be in this situation, never mind be posting this question on TSR. The only thing you can do is get a job. work your ass off and save up. These little loans will all add up in the long run.

If your mental health issues are that bad to the point it's getting you into this situation, then you should consider getting support sessions to get you on the right track. However, I'm sorry for saying this, but you cannot blame your mental health issues on your own lack of organisation, responsibility and due diligence - you should've thought about this sooner, i.e. getting a job when you've not got exams coming up.

However, this is all hindsight, and all you can do is improve from this point.
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mylifeisajoke
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(Original post by Anonymous)
My extended family all live in a different country and I'm not in contact with them. I think I will have to make an appointment with the uni. I was just hoping it wouldn't get to that. Thanks for the tips
Yeah it is the best thing to do they won't just leave you in a situation like that
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by Kian Stevens)
This. All this.

Why didn't you think to get a job beforeyou got yourself into this? There's absolutely no magic trick us at TSR can recommend to get you out of an overdraft which, by the sounds of things, is getting quite large. This is entirely your responsibility - as a third year medicine undergraduate, it seems very immature to even be in this situation, never mind be posting this question on TSR. The only thing you can do is get a job. work your ass off and save up. These little loans will all add up in the long run.

If your mental health issues are that bad to the point it's getting you into this situation, then you should consider getting support sessions to get you on the right track. However, I'm sorry for saying this, but you cannot blame your mental health issues on your own lack of organisation, responsibility and due diligence - you should've thought about this sooner. However, this is all hindsight.

I've already said I know it's my own fault. What makes you think I'm not already on the waiting list for support sessions? I might be unorganised but I'm not stupid. The majority of your post did not give any useful advice - you just criticised, which is very unhelpful.
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by mc_miah)
A lot of assumptions made here.

If OP was picked for something as competitive as medicine, especially from coming from a lower background, OP literally deserves good advice and help. Oh not to mention if OP was picked for medicine, op probably deserves it.

Get out of here with your judging ass. Be optimistic and supportive.
Thank you for this! Some people are quick to judge! They all say what you should have done to prevent the bad situation, but not how to fix it, which is what I am asking for advice on. Obviously this is an experience I have learnt from but it's not like I can go back in time and redo things
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AngryRedhead
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Work at A24 agency as a HCA if you can or nhs bank as a HCA.
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Decipher
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(Original post by mc_miah)
A lot of assumptions made here.

If OP was picked for something as competitive as medicine, especially from coming from a lower background, OP literally deserves good advice and help. Oh not to mention if OP was picked for medicine, op probably deserves it.

Get out of here with your judging ass. Be optimistic and supportive.
guess i was too quick to assume :mute: I just have a personal vendetta against unorganised people who will have to be very responsible in the future.....
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by Decipher)
guess i was too quick to assume :mute: I just have a personal vendetta against unorganised people who will have to be very responsible in the future.....
So you're always 100% well organised 24/7 and you never get stressed about anything, or go through a hard time? Pretty nice life you got there.

You and kian stevens are both A-level students anyway - still very young and immature, so I'll give you a pass.

I was asking for advice from medical students, precisely because they will give better advice. Not A-Level students.
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by AngryRedhead)
Work at A24 agency as a HCA if you can or nhs bank as a HCA.
I've tried applying for this quite a few times, I've applied for phlebotomy too, but never get accepted because the ones in my area require "6 months of previous experience as a HCA" and for some reason won't accept medical school as relevant experience :cry:
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Kian Stevens
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(Original post by Anonymous)
I've already said I know it's my own fault. What makes you think I'm not already on the waiting list for support sessions? I might be unorganised but I'm not stupid. The majority of your post did not give any useful advice - you just criticised, which is very unhelpful.
But constructive criticism is very helpful, which is what I gave. I said you can't live off just loans, which is true. I said that the only way out of this is to get a job and save up for extra income, which is true. And I said some harsh words about your lack of organisation, which in all honesty should be excellent as a medicine student, and is also true. Why should I sit here and be all happy-clappy with someone who's got a poor lack of judgement? The situation you're in is worse than the things I said - put that into perspective.

All criticism is constructive, if you handle it in the appropriate way, and do something useful with it.
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Cheesychips1
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I’m so sorry to hear you’ve been having such a bad time.
In terms of budgeting - moneysupermarket has an excellent budgeting spreadsheet tool, which could help you plan things and get things under control. And also make you look up your bank accounts and actually see where your money is going.
Try to only withdraw what you will spend in 1 week. Or alternatively, keep your money in one account and only transfer what you’re going to spend into another.
In terms of your mental health + spending - echoing others, I would strong recommend talking to your student advice service. They are often part of the student union and can provide excellent advice for those in financial difficulty. I know you’ve missed the deadline for financial hardship, but still consider going. Some med schools have their own scholarships that are seperate from the main uni ones.
Also consider trying to access some counselling. Universities normally have free counselling, and assuming you are under 25 there are normally lots of free charities that provide counselling sessions to <25. And of course access your GP if you haven’t done so already.
Do not use those quick cash websites - however dire the situation, it would be preferable to go to the last penny on your overdraft than use these, they’re scams and draw more money out. You have an entire year post-graduation to pay back your overdraft, that shouldn’t be a priority. There is lots of fantastic debt advice online - I’d recommend consulting these. I really think your risky financial spending needs addressing.

In terms of making money - a job is the first port of call. How strict is your attendance? Could you spare an afternoon a week for a job? Or after exams can you work full time? You say no one is interviewing where you live, but keep checking and don’t lose hope, because I’m sure they’re will be lots more summer opportunities. Also there’s things like ‘flu camps’ that pay considerable amounts. GP surgeries often hire medical students over the summer to help transcribe notes. You could also send out adverts offering baby sitting or similar things, you’ll be desirable being a med student and presumably DBS checked.

Saving money - share transport, and claim back ALL transport costs using the NHS travel bursay (unless you don’t get NHS funding until next year). There’s tons of info online about cheaper meals, how to save money shopping. Look at other ways to reduce costs - Netflix subscriptions, gym subscriptions, expensive phone contracts.
Just try and get through to your next loan without using a pay day loan.

Moving on from here My main advice would be
• make a proper and honest budget
• get advice and support regarding your mental health, and make sure to involve uni as they WILL help
• get serious advice to control your spending
• apply for a hard ship fund when it opens again
• get a job and make time for it
• don’t worry about being at the end of your overdraft - a lot of us are

I’m sorry this is such a long post. I’m not judging you at all and genuinely hope this helps. Medicine is long, hard and we get a pittance.
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by Kian Stevens)
But constructive criticism is very helpful, which is what I gave. I said you can't live off just loans, which is true. I said that the only way out of this is to get a job and save up for extra income, which is true. And I said some harsh words about your lack of organisation, which in all honesty should be excellent as a medicine student, and is also true.

All criticism is constructive, if you handle it in the appropriate way, and do something useful with it.
If you already read my post, I've said all of those things. You're telling me what I already know, rather than telling me something new.
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Decipher
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(Original post by Anonymous)
So you're always 100% well organised 24/7 and you never get stressed about anything, or go through a hard time? Pretty nice life you got there.

You and kian stevens are both A-level students anyway - still very young and immature, so I'll give you a pass.

I was asking for advice from medical students, precisely because they will give better advice. Not A-Level students.
Aye, your right i'm not starting uni until this september, but even i know how to handle my bank account. But you're right i wasn't giving you advice so i probably shouldn't have said anything, guess i was just a lil angry.
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Pure Water
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(Original post by Kian Stevens)
This. All this.

Why didn't you think to get a job beforeyou got yourself into this? How can you expect to live on loan after loan, with no additional income? There's absolutely no magic trick us at TSR can recommend to get you out of an overdraft which, by the sounds of things, is getting quite large. This is entirely your responsibility - as a third year medicine undergraduate, it seems very immature to even be in this situation, never mind be posting this question on TSR. The only thing you can do is get a job. work your ass off and save up. These little loans will all add up in the long run.

If your mental health issues are that bad to the point it's getting you into this situation, then you should consider getting support sessions to get you on the right track. However, I'm sorry for saying this, but you cannot blame your mental health issues on your own lack of organisation, responsibility and due diligence - you should've thought about this sooner, i.e. getting a job when you've not got exams coming up.

However, this is all hindsight, and all you can do is improve from this point.
Ha, please get out of here with your judgemental and inconsiderate response. Go and sort yourself out before you criticise someone who’s clearly in a tricky situation and wants advice not useless criticism.
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