'Gappers' urged to arrange finances early

22 June 2006
Moneysupermarket.com has urged gap year students, or 'gappers', thinking of undertaking long or short-term foreign excursions to prepare themselves financially before they leave.

Many students who are yet to undertake full-time employment could be looking at unsecured loans or some form of borrowing money to fund their trips if they have not saved and their parents cannot afford to lend them sufficient funds.

According to the price comparison site, shopping around away from your current high street bank is advised but may be more difficult than anticipated due to a lack of credit history, which will discourage companies from lending substantial amounts.

Stuart Glendinning, the managing director of Moneysupermarket.com, said: "Having a gap year may be great fun and a richly rewarding experience but graduates will find it difficult to benefit from the best financial deals on the market.

"Indeed, without any kind of credit record built up their most viable option is to approach their current bank, which may not offer the most competitive deals," he added.

Mr Glendinning also urged gappers not to rely on credit cards as they will largely be poorer value than a loan would be. The structured nature of a personal loan from a bank may also suit younger borrowers who may have difficulties with the self-disciplined repayments involved with credit card borrowing.

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