University expenses dilemma

(231 Posts)
Iwonder08 Sat 17-Aug-19 02:39:41

Dear All,

I would appreciate your opinion on the dilemma.

My husband of 3 years has 2 sons, 16 and 19, we have a newborn together.
19yo DSS will start uni in September.
Strangely enough neither my DH nor DSS ever tried to actually calculate the student dept DSS will have after graduating considering both uni fees and a maintenance loan. Both DSS and DH thought it is unlikely he will go to uni due to having bad grades, but 1 uni accepted him with all Cs.
Now DH is debating whether he should pay for DSS's accommodation (£6k/year) in order to reduce his student debt.
Child maintenance he pays now is quite high, it will be reduced a bit when SDD starts uni. The reduction is significantly less than £6k/year he is considering for the student accommodation.
£6k/year is technically possible, but will leave no disposable income for DH which means all the unplanned/emergency expenses, holidays, realistically more than 50% of the childcare costs when I go back to work in several months will have to be covered by me. We didn't go through the details yet, it all came very sudden yesterday.
I have never been in the situation before, my parents haven't supported me through uni, I had jobs. I honestly don't know if it is reasonable approach and should be expected or is my DH is reacting this way due to this unexpected place at uni when he didn't have high expectations before..

OP’s posts: |
LemonPrism Sat 17-Aug-19 03:18:22

My dad paid for my accommodation for uni. I got the minimum maintenance loan though (£3k). Will he be able to cover it with his loan if he takes it?

Youseethethingis Sat 17-Aug-19 03:23:10

Has he thought about whether he can provide his other children with that level of support when the time comes? I would be concerned that if he supports DSS1 now, you could potentially be looking at 6 solid years or more of financial hardship, should DSS2 decide to go to uni and quite rightly expect to be treated the same as his brother.
Also, where does your baby figure in all this? Is her life to be either funded entirely by you (not fair) or she misses out on all the fun extras of childhood (trips, holidays, clubs etc) because every spare penny DH earns is going to provide for her adult siblings?
Student loans and debt isn’t like “real” debt and isn’t treated the same way in terms of credit ratings or repayment. Unlike the credit cards and emergency loans you might need when the washing machine and the car chuck it in the same month because you have no emergency funds.
Can your DH sit down with DSS and work out if part time work is feasible with the course he is on and maybe agree a manageable figure to “top up” his income? Then DH knows he is supporting his child, DSS is able to budget and taking some responsibility for himself and the family budget isn’t too compromised? Is DSS mother planning to provide some level of support?

VimFuego101 Sat 17-Aug-19 03:26:25

How much maintenance loan will he get - is it enough to cover his rent? MoneySavingExpert has some useful advice about whether it's worth paying student costs up front vs taking out a loan that you may never need to pay back.

Iwonder08 Sat 17-Aug-19 04:16:38

Thank you for your comments.
DSS's mother is officially unemployed and she is a resident parent so DSS can have a maximum loan of 7.5k which will cover the accommodation. It is unlikely his mother will provide any level of support.
DSS now has a part time job, it wouldn't be unreasonable to assume he can do a similar job near the uni. The course he has chosen is not very intense/complex and he will have spare time.
My DH somehow doesn't believe his other son will go to uni, neither of the boys are particularly academic. I think it wouldn't be fair to DSS2 who is 16 to be treated differently even if he skips uni and goes to do an apprenticeship for instance. It might create some level of resentment in future.
DSS is a lovely kid, but he has zero understanding of where the money come from and how to budget any expenses. All the money he earns/gifted for birthdays/Xmas are spent on various gadgets that get dropped after a couple of weeks. To be fair DH had a couple of attempts to try and talk to DSS about personal finance and budgeting without any luck.

OP’s posts: |
Wallywobbles Sat 17-Aug-19 05:08:18

Sorry I just don't think he can afford to pay 6k. It sounds like you and DH need to actually come up with an affordable compromise plan. See how DSS plan to budget his expenses and go from there. No budget from DSS no cash from you though.

Myfoolishboatisleaning Sat 17-Aug-19 05:23:36

Of course he should pay. Why wouldn’t he?


Youseethethingis Sat 17-Aug-19 05:32:35


Why shouldn’t he pay?
Maybe because supporting his adult child to this level will put unacceptable strain on the family budget and mean he cannot support his dependent children adequately?
Because there are alternatives?

Sheesh confused

Myfoolishboatisleaning Sat 17-Aug-19 05:35:02

oh Yes, you’re right, why support a 19 year old to get an education. Sheesh.

Youseethethingis Sat 17-Aug-19 05:40:02

Cancel the thread - Myfoolish has magic beans she can lend OP. Sorted.

Myfoolishboatisleaning Sat 17-Aug-19 05:49:42

I would not lend the OP anything from my magic money tree, because she is playing step family bingo. If anyone else wants some though...

ralphfromlordoftheflies Sat 17-Aug-19 05:56:23

What's the problem with getting a student loan and paying it back on a means based basis when he starts working after uni? I wouldn't have expected my parents to have to live on a tight budget to pay my student accommodation when I was a student (and they wouldn't have dreamed of doing so either!)

blackcat86 Sat 17-Aug-19 05:59:59

Yes how awful of people to have split families. Someone call the church elders! It sounds like neither DH or DSS are working out a realistic budget. DH is favouring DSS which is unfair, including on DSS who wont be getting a view of real life where people budget and live in their means. Why would he continue to pay maintenance for DSS 19 when he will be living in halls? Surely he could just transfer that amount to him and top it up if he is able to. Obviously he still needs to pay maintenance for DSS16 but he's over stretching his finances and then expecting you to pick up the slack whilst he looks like wonder day appeasing his eldest.

lawnmowingsucks Sat 17-Aug-19 06:23:38

Check out what Martin Lewis (money saving expert) says about student loans and paying them off early/not using them.

Your DH can't affford to do this £6k thing and he certainly can't afford to do it for two children (he seems to believe neither will achieve uni places until they do confusedhmm)

donutrehomer Sat 17-Aug-19 06:29:12

If he is getting full grant then he should pay his accommodation.

Your dp should just give him a monthly amount by direct debit.

I used to give mine about 250 and then pay for their mobile bill. I also paid for their uni kit. I got most that from primark, wilko etc.

Part of going to uni is to spread your wings, this includes budgeting and getting a part time job.

Just my thoughts x

growlingbear Sat 17-Aug-19 06:35:17

How badly does he want to do the subject he's been accepted for? If he got Cs he either didn't work hard or isn't that academic. The only way it would be worth his while is if he's grown up a lot and realised he desperately wants to go to uni and is passionate about a corse that might lead to good earning once he's graduated. Otherwise your DH is chucking money away.
I think far too many teens start uni courses without thinking much about what they or studying or why, or what that course will lead to, So many drop out. It costs a fortune. He might be better off and happier going straight into work and finding out what he wants to do that way. Don't go just because one uni has agreed to squeeze money out of an unacademic student!

Myfoolishboatisleaning Sat 17-Aug-19 06:45:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

redexpat Sat 17-Aug-19 06:58:40

Tbh if the loan covers the accomodation I would be more inclined to transfer a bit of money every week or month. Learning to budget can be really tricky, and if you get student finance right then its ok, but if you get it wrong it can follow you through your 20s. How much do you trust dss with money? If his dad gave him a credit card and said put your food shop on that would dss stick to that?

Fibbsdottir Sat 17-Aug-19 07:02:34

The advice is to top up the maintenance loan to 9k, the maximum amount. So if he gets 7.5k maintenance you only need to add 1.5k a year.

donutrehomer Sat 17-Aug-19 07:09:24

Sorry, my post was a little misleading, I apologise.

I paid the hall of residence deposits, then I paid the accommodation deposit for shared houses as well.

I also sent them to uni with bulk amounts of cleaner, loo roll and laundry detergent etc.. we also always did food a food shop before we left them.

There were a couple of field trips where I had to pay plane tickets which were about 350 quid.

They also had my logins for Asda and sainsburys, they used to order food deliveries probably every other month. This was then paid on my debit card.

So, yeah, a bit more than my previous post.


user1493413286 Sat 17-Aug-19 07:10:45

If it’s going to impact on your finances then I don’t see that it’s fair that he pays that as it seems that he can’t afford to do that and pay for his newborn son.
Mine and DHs thoughts for if DSD goes to uni is that he’d pay a similar amount to what he pays in maintenance directly to her either as a living allowance or towards her rent.
If he could easily afford it then great but the reality is that he can’t afford it which the PPs don’t seem to be taking into account.
I don’t think there’s any norm either as what parents can afford varies massively.

Soontobe60 Sat 17-Aug-19 07:11:22
OP, this is what your DH needs to read before he makes any decisions. His DS will be getting enough money to live on whilst at Uni most likely. Any debt he incurs will not need to be paid back until he earns over a certain amount, and is written off after a certain number of years.
Your DH should not pay his accommodation, he would be better off putting the money he would use (if he had it) into an ISA to give to his DS for a house deposit after Uni.
Please, please, please make sure he reads the link I've posted.

NotBeingRobbed Sat 17-Aug-19 07:11:42

Yes, he should pay for his son. I’ve paid for my son’s accommodation because there is no other way he could make up the gap between the £3k maintenance loan and £10k costs. He has a loan for fees. His dad chooses to pay nothing but I believe in investing in my son. There is a definite implication in the government funding that parents will pay. How else to make up that £7k gap at a very academic uni where part time jobs are not encouraged?
Maybe your DP should have considered all these costs before choosing to have a third child later in life?

user1493413286 Sat 17-Aug-19 07:12:31

Also even if the younger DSS doesn’t go to uni then he would need the same amount of money given to him at some point surely to keep things fair? In my DHs family they gave money for his house deposit and his siblings for uni otherwise it would have created resentment.

8by8 Sat 17-Aug-19 07:14:14

Honestly .... is going to uni worthwhile for him?

A lot of people go to uni with bad a level grades, do easy courses, then graduate with huge debt and no particular job prospects.

Is DSS looking at other options? Or is he really keen on uni for some reason?

In any event no, you clearly can’t afford to give that much. I’d give the amount of maintenance that DH is now saving to DSS to help support him, maybe a bit extra now and then. But spending £6k a year on the eldest is not fair to you or the baby.

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in