Seeing Red: How To Get Out Of Your Overdraft After Uni

Life after university can often mean staring at your bank balance and thinking: “Well, how did that happen eh?” Whether it’s because of overindulging in “uni life” or because your loan didn’t stretch far, debt is a situation many post-grads find themselves in. And it isn’t exactly an unexpected situation.

You may have become accustomed to being in the red, but it can be a little terrifying when you’re no longer a student. When you’re no longer “supposed to be poor” and you’ve nearly hit the max. When you’ve no longer got that loan coming in three times a year.

There are, however, plenty of ways to get smart with your money ─ or lack thereof ─ once you’re a real adult.


Contact your bank

Each bank is different and the first step in your plan should be working out when you have to be out of your overdraft. When you’ve done this, you’ll have a clearer vision of what you need to do money-wise. Do you have lots of time to slowly get out or do you need a plan of action?

If necessary, set up an appointment with your bank. Money can make you feel irrational; grasp the facts and find a logical solution. University is expensive and this can mean that an overdraft is many students’ best friend. Don’t panic; get organised.


Get a job

Get a job or up your hours. So many university students will find themselves working a job straight out of uni that isn’t exactly their dream. Believe it or not, it could just be a good thing.

Instead of heading straight to a big city, post-grads can focus their energy on paying off their overdraft rather than paying for city-priced rent. It might not be your dream role but it will get the job done. This way you’ll feel far less panicked every time you log onto your account and see your figures dipping below 0.


Budget up

An obvious step ex-students like to ignore. Budgeting is key. Not only will a budget ensure your spending is reasonable but everything will feel clearer in your mind. The task of getting out of your overdraft, therefore, will appear possible.

Pull up a document on your laptop and work out how to keep up with your outgoings while ensuring you’re climbing out of the red. You can allow yourself a particular sum for each month/week. This way you won’t feel hard-done-by with a little pocket money to spend.

Top tip: Withdraw the amount of money you can spend in a week in cash to avoid accidental overspending.


Socialise cheaply

Be wise with the money you’re allowing yourself to spend. If you’ve gone home after uni, you’re likely to be surrounded by your old schoolmates. And what do old schoolmates like to do? Catch up, of course – usually over a drink or five.

Don’t encourage more than one pub night a week. Choose cheaper options when you are at your local. Socialise with the help of your gym membership. See your best friend at a workout class or a gym session. Make the most of cinema ticket discounts and food promotions at restaurants.

An overdraft can seem all fun and games when at uni. As soon as you’ve waved goodbye to your second home, however, that debt can make your stomach churn. Following the steps above and you’ll soon be back in the black.


Kathryn ─ known as Kat even though she prefers Kath ─ studied English Language at Cardiff University and now wants to finally write that book she’s always been meaning to write. Check out her Twitter, Instagram and blog to delve into her mind further.