LOANS, BURSARIES & SCHOLARSHIPS
Emergency cash loan ($500)
Domestic student loan (up to $2 000)
International student loan (up to $1 000)
There are also a number of bursaries (you do not pay the money back), including one valued at $2 000 for first year students. (conditions apply)
Tell the Scholarships and Financial Support Service your situation and they will advise you on the loan or bursary most suitable for you. The repayment terms are negotiable in each case – within twelve months is preferred and cannot be later than graduation. If you cannot pay back on time let them know, don’t just stop paying and disappear.
The University offers students interest-free loans. If you can demonstrate that you need a loan to pay your bond or other expenses, the Financial Assistance Office may be able to help.
Interest-free loans and bursary assistance is intended to help students in emergencies so that they can maintain a reasonable standard of living. Assistance cannot be provided as a regular source of income.
Scholarships and Financial Support Service: (all loans are interest free)
Phone: 8627 8112
Level 5, Jane Foss Russell Building
SRC Emergency loans (interest free loans up to $50)
Phone: 9660 5222
Level 1 Wentworth Building
DEALING WITH DEBTS
There are a number of different organisations, including some legal centres, that can help if you owe people money. They can try to work out more suitable repayments.
SRC Legal Service: firstname.lastname@example.org | 9660 5222
Wesley Mission Credit Line: 1800 007 007
Gambling Treatment Clinic: 1800 482 482
Confidential help with problem gambling can be accessed during business hours:
There are Gambling Treatment Clinics in Darlington, Cambeltown, Lidcombe and Parramatta
Cheap quality accommodation is hard to get. The cost varies greatly depending on the quality of the home and proximity to things like the city, universities or beaches. There are a few cheaper rooms provided by:
University Housing if you are on Centrelink For betwen $195 and $265 per week for your own room
STUCCO a student run housing cooperative http://stucco.org.au – $73 per week for your own room.
Some conditions apply and demand is very high so act now.
Reduce energy bills by turning off appliances (not putting them on stand by) and using more layers of clothing and blankets in the winter to reduce heating bills.
Interest free loans for bond (Housing NSW – Google search: “rentstart bond loan nsw”)
Housing NSW may be able to give you an interest free loan for up to 75% of your bond (conditions apply). You will normally repay the loan in fortnightly installments.
To be eligible you must:
- be an Australian permanent resident or citizen,
- be a low-income earner ($560 or less per week
- have less than $3 000 in cash assets
- spend less than half your income on rent per week
Contact an SRC caseworker on 9660 5222
Be aware that emergency housing options are extremely limited and not always available.
Share housing Survival Guide
Share housing tips can be found in an excellent publication produced by the Redfern Legal Centre and the SRC.
It is a good idea to have a budget plan. Write down how you are going to spend money each week, including putting some aside for unforseen expenses if you can.
Cheap furniture and kitchen things can be bought cheaply at op shops run by charities. Large shops often have the best range, such as the big Salvo’s depot at St Peters, and Reverse Garbage in Marrickville. Some places will give you things you need to set up a house if you can demonstrate you are in need.
You should also keep in mind that one person’s trash is another person’s treasure. Keep an eye out for stuff that’s being thrown out for council pick up days. The more posh the area, the nicer the stuff being thrown away. The North Shore proves to be particularly good.
There is a website called FreeCycle (www.freecycle.org) where you can give, take, and request goods of all descriptions.
FREE FOOD, CHEAP FOOD
Free food can be found around campus throughout the year. The SRC and USU offer free food from time to time to promote various campaigns and events. They are advertised in Honi
Soit and the Daily Bull. Remember clubs and societies too. The University also serves food at events, eg. graduation ceremonies. It would be very naughty of you to go and pretend you belong so you can eat their sandwiches.
Newtown Neighbourhood Centre publish a list of places to go for cheap or free meals. Go to www.newtowncentre.org then ‘Information Sheets’ then ‘Essential Services’ then ‘Meals’.
Buy food at shops and learn to cook rather than eating fast food, take-aways and restaurant food. It is healthier as well as cheaper. Check out the internet, library, second hand book
shops, magazines and other publications for some easy recipes. Take your own food to uni for lunch, including snacks.
The food coop, run by students, on Level 4 Wentworth has lots of healthy food (like dried fruit, lentils, rice, crackers, grains etc). To be environmentally friendly you have to bring your own container or bag for the food. If you volunteer there you get a discount.
Cheap deals in the area? Some places on King Street in Newtown offer you a discount with a student card, or Access card (the USU card). Places that have pre-prepared food often charge less when it gets near closing time. Just be careful of food kept out of the fridge or heating for too long.
Dumpster Diving alarm: Dumpster Diving is the name given to collecting food out of bins near food shops or restaurants.
The SRC strongly advises NOT to dumpster dive. You won’t know how long food has been out of the fridge etc, and you are at high risk of food poisoning and other nasty bugs. Even more worrying, there is often bleach or other chemicals on top of the food – yes, some people do this on purpose to stop people from Dumpster Diving.
Get into the habit of walking as this is a great way of exercising and de-stressing, as well as saving money.
Riding a bike is proving to be more popular and some bike lanes have been created, although we are still far behind many European countries. Keep your wits about you if riding a bike, many drivers are still not looking for bikes on the road.
Public transport can be expensive if you are not eligible for a transport concession (part time and international students). However, it is significantly less expensive than running your
own car. You can reduce your public transport costs by:
- Getting the free city bus around the city between Haymarket (Chinatown) and Circular Quay.
- Travelling off-peak when train tickets are cheaper
- Buying Pre-paid tickets
- Opal Card use after a certain number of trips
When travelling from place to place, always consider your safety. Sometimes it is good to splash out and take a taxi home.
Renting cars may be a better option than buying a car, if you do need one occasionally. There are a number of car share companies online offereing special rates for students. Other hire companies normally cost about $65+ per day, more if you are under 25 years of age. Insurance (which is necessary) may cost more.
Australian citizens and permanent residents can apply for a Low Income Health Card Card if you earn $527 a week or less. This gives you a reduced price on prescription drugs, free ambulance cover etc. Go to www.centrelink.gov.au “Low income health care card”
Bulk billing (or direct billing) doctors means that you will not be charged for the appointment. This is covered on Medicare and Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC). eg University Health Service in the Wentworth building.
Safer sex is important. You can pick up free condoms from
the SRC office, level 1 Wentworth.
Clean needles The Alcohol and Drug Information Service (ADIS) is a 24 hour confidential telephone service providing information, referral and advice; including needle syringe exchange programs, methadone programs, detoxes and rehabs. Telephone: 02 9361 8000 or 1800 422 599
Dentists can be super expensive. But your teeth are important. There are some services you may access for free. Come and speak to SRC HELP caseworkers.
PHONE AND INTERNET
Pre-paid accounts allow you to give yourself a fixed budget for phonecalls. Monitor your usage so you know if this is the best for you or if a plan would be better. If you need an internet connection, look around for deals that combine phone and internet.
The Union (USU) offers a large range of social activities that you can attend, many of which are free. They also give out prizes at trivia nights and other social nights that may get you to the movies, see a band etc. The Union also sell reduced cinema tickets.
Trivia nights at various pubs in Sydney are also free to enter, an opportunity to get together with friends, learn something new and win some prizes.
Festivals are a great part of Sydney life, with many offering free events. There are also one off events around the city. Keep an eye on Spectrum in the Sydney Morning Herald on Saturday’s for listings, as well as local and free newspapers.
Offer to write a review for a small newspaper on a band or film etc. This could get you into things you like for free.