The third national lockdown announced by the Government this week will see the majority of university students stay at home rather than return to their campuses and courses in person. However, staying with families beyond the Christmas break is set to put additional pressure on household finances, according to research from comparethemarket.com.

The findings show that 63% of students think they will need financial help from their parents whilst living at home. Despite being away from university, bills still need to be paid; Students anticipate needing the ‘bank of mum and dad’ to fill in the gap by contributing on average £570 to help to pay expenses such as rent (33%) and shared household bills (49%). As many as 40% say they will rely on parents for an allowance during this time and nearly two thirds (64%) of those asking for financial assistance do not expect they will ever pay their parents back.

However, according to the company’s latest Household Financial Confidence Tracker, as a result of the current financial pressure caused by the pandemic, 27% of families with children living at home are struggling to make ends meet. Almost a third (32%) of families with children living at home have dipped into savings to cope with day-to-day budgeting.

Ursula Gibbs, director at comparethemarket.com, said “The closure of most university campuses and changes to courses that are being taught almost exclusively online is placing significant stress on students, not only with regards to their education, but also their finances. Since students have limited options and are unable to take up part time jobs, our research shows that most students need the bank of mum and dad to tide them over financially during this period, despite parents feeling the squeeze after this difficult year.”

“For parents wanting to look after loved ones while balancing their own household bills, this could have a significant impact. Thankfully, the vaccine roll-out gives hope that life can return to normal sooner rather than later, and students will be able to return to normal academic life in the not too distant future.”