Second-year studies reveal the facts of financial life: Dropped out with two overdrafts

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The Independent Online
EDMUND STRAIN found that the pressure of switching from arts A-levels to a four-year electrical and electronic engineering course proved too much. He failed the foundation year at Liverpool Poly, and left.

'I could have reapplied for the course, but I decided to give something else a try.'

He stayed in Liverpool, and has tried to find permanent work in the Civil Service or other clerical jobs. He now has a temporary job with Barclaycard working in the customer services department. He hopes to travel to Turkey, Israel and Egypt and get back into college after a gap of two years. 'Next time I must choose a better course.'

He managed to run up pounds 600 of overdrafts with two banks, National Westminster and Midland, by the time he left college. He had originally banked with NatWest but signed up with Midland at Freshers Week when he was tempted by the 'goodies'.

He has managed to repay pounds 150, and has steady work plans to repay more. He has no cheque book or credit cards and manages his day-to-day finances with a Halifax Cardcash account.

After he first left college he was signing on as unemployed and receiving housing benefit. He even tried to sell the computer he received for taking part in the Student Track. 'There were no buyers, so I have hung on to it.'

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