When you become a student’s person literally throw money at you. Which is stupid, because if I know anything, it is that the majority of people (students or not) is stupid when it comes to money, especially when they are given a large amount of it.
When I first applied to university I had the highest obtainable grade in my college course, and the highest grade in the class. It was no easy feat, but it put me in line for an academic scholarship of £1500 a year, as long as I continued to achieve a 65% grade average or above, 65% would be a 2:1, which is the second highest obtainable grade for a piece of work at university level.
I lived at home so I had no need to pay for accomodation. So that was another £3000 a year I was given, along with an interest free overdraft of £1600. So, to add that up over the three years I studied at university I was given around £15,000 just to be a lazy student.
Well, I say “Lazy” I was the least lazy student possible. I attended university, consistently got, on average, 70% (at first, the highest grade) as well as providing tech support to my fellow students. (Because our course was full of lecturers that spent time getting high.) and then there was the job I had at my college providing technical support and teaching. And then there was my job witch I still have.
So I wasn’t lazy, I actually worked very hard, so maybe instead of being a “lazy” student, ill just say I was stupid. I drank a lot, spent money on a lot of stupid stuff. Which was dumb. so I was a stupid student, not a lazy one.
When you’re a student, like me. You don’t really think about how you have spent 15,000 on trips, food, alcohol and all kinds of crap that you will never use. In fact, the fact that I didn’t actually have to spend any of that money meant that I basically wasted it. I bought a £2000 laptop. A £1000 camera, pretty much all of my own camera and sound equipment, presents for everyone. I was stupid.
I don’t have to pay my scholarship back, I got that for being a good student. So, the £4,500 that I wasted was given to me for being smart. I should add that because I am autistic and dyslexic I also had a £3000 computer given to me a long with some pretty cool software. Anyway. None of this is relevant because I don’t need to pay it back.
£9,000 of it (plus a further £9000 for tuition fees that I did not see as it was paid directly to the university) is owed to the government. The cool thing about this £18,000 is that it’s basically irrelevant. And I only pay that back once I start earning some large amount. But, it gets written off after 20 years and its not classed as “debt” the way regular debt is. It doesn’t work against me negatively.
So that just leaves £1600. My overdraft. The overdraft that good old Natwest gave me. I have my wages paid into a different account with a different bank. I have had my job since I was 18 and I got the Natwest account when I was 21 so I wasn’t going to change the details.
Regardless, I have been hiding from Natwest. Hoping they had forgotten about the £1600 I owed them until I got home today to a grumpy sounding letter from Northwest, telling me I hadn’t used my account and it had become dormant. Oh! And that I owed them money and they wanted it back.
I am officially in debt. To begin with the letter didn’t really bother me, but a few hours later it kicked in and I actually began to get kind of worried so I re-read it along with its nice list of debt helplines. I decided to call Natwest directly. And they basically confirmed what I thought the letter was a threat.
I have to begin to pay back this money or I am going to court! Of course, I’m sure I can pay back £1600 over time it’s not a large amount of money. But, I am angry. I am angry because banks throw money at students so easily. And, I was an idiot. Who should not have been given this. If they had looked at my outgoing they would see that my money was spent in pubs, and all kinds of frivolous and not on anything important.
Realistically on my salary I can afford to pay them about £30 a month. And I will. Because looking back, I can’t believe they would give me anything! I am actually pretty astounded by it!
Regardless, this has made me very stressed and tense. Which is something I don’t deal with well. My shoulders and back are in so much pain that I can hardly move them so I have doused myself in ibuprofen gel (probably a bad idea.) and they still hurt. I realise it is probably stupid to rub ibuprofen gel into my kidneys so I won’t do it again but the pain is driving me crazy. And this is all the fault of Natwest.
Well. I’m blaming Natwest. It’s actually the fault of an autistic, student with a painkiller addiction that blew £15,000 on who knows what. But I enjoyed it at the time, so hey, you only live once right? Investing is boring.
The Elephant in the Room