Money worries are leading students to defer or drop their higher education plans, according to findings of an annual student survey.

The charity Credit Action has published its findings as its Student Moneymanual 2013 is launched.

It found that a third of students interviewed who had planned to start university in 2012 either deferred their course or had given up plans to attend. Those opting out completely cited reasons including getting a job instead (37 per cent) or not being able to afford to go (also 37 per cent).

Credit Action talked to students before starting uni about their ability to manage money throughout their course.

More than half said they worried about it with some 22 per cent fearing struggling to make ends meet, 18 per cent worried about the cost of living, and 14 per cent concerned about taking on new financial responsibilities. A further 14 per cent questioned if they would be any good at budgeting.

Michelle Highman, chief executive officer of Credit Action, said: "It's such a shame that money is a significant source of worry for students, but some of the fears can be contained: everyone can learn to get on top of their money.

"If you don't think you know how to manage a budget January is a brilliant time to start, even if it's as simple as keeping a spending diary. There are loads of ideas to save and manage your money in the Student Moneymanual - it's about life-long money sense, it's not just for uni."

The charity has has published the Student Moneymanual in partnership with Santander.

Charlotte Hogg, head of retail distribution at Santander, said: "At Santander, we understand the importance of having good money management skills which is why we support Credit Action's Student Moneymanual.

"This useful tool can help students discover what funding is available, how to apply for it and how to manage their money once they've got it."

The Student Moneymanual 2013 is available for free at