Taking time out to save ahead of going to university could be a good idea, it has been said.

Taking a year out to store cash in a personal finance option such as an ISA before they head off to university may be good idea for prospective student account holders.

That is the opinion of a spokeswoman at online resource Moneyfacts, who believes that, where possible, future scholars should try to build up holdings in a savings account prior to beginning their degree course.

Many Britons are currently preparing for the beginning of the 2011-12 academic year next month, with the majority probably planning on using their student loan in order to fund their lifestyle.

However, according to the expert from Moneyfacts, planning ahead by stashing cash away for a few months beforehand can provide people with a strong financial safety net that may allow them to avoid getting into significant amounts of debt.

"It is a good idea if you can do it - if you can put money aside and you're prepared to do that, especially going forward when everyone's going to be on the news about the new fees structure," she noted.

Despite this view, the specialist warned that anyone taking 12 months out is liable to be "caught by the new fees next year", meaning the additional cost of going to university in the future may undermine their good saving intentions.

Nevertheless, she indicated that having a year's worth of cash stored up is never going to do any harm, as it should allow people to get through their degree without having to rely on lending as much money.

Research published last week (August 17th) by Endsleigh revealed that 74 per cent of students are unhappy at the prospect of having to budget effectively, with 33 per cent stating they were concerned about paying bills for essentials such as gas and electric.

In addition to this, Santander savings account holders may be interested to note the financier has decided to enhance rates attached to several of its products.

As of last Friday (August 19th), the lender has increased figures attached to its most recent range of fixed rate bonds, as well as its eSaver Issue 4 savings account, which now offers a gross annual equivalent rate of 3.1 per cent.

This represents a hike of 0.35 per cent and will benefit both new and existing customers.

Meanwhile, Santander's fresh one-year fixed rate bond now offers a return as high as 3.2 per cent, with the two-year alternative going up to 3.8 per cent.

Reza Attar-Zedah, director of savings and investments at the company, observed: "As always with such great offers, they may change at any time so I would encourage savers to act now to secure these rates."

Recently, campaign group Save Our Savers urged the government to suspend income tax on savings to help improve conditions following the recession

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