What’s with the Disbursements?!


EconBookshopHoughtonStreetLSE2

{I’ve been looking at these pictures to calm my financial concerns — if the year is amazing then it nullifies any exchange rate/financial concerns, right?}

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I recently received the paperwork for my loans detailing the loan money I would be receiving for the coming year. The money more than sufficiently covers the “tuition + maintenance funds” criteria detailed in the UK Visa application process, so that works perfectly! The loans, however, aren’t disbursed to me, they are disbursed to the academic institution (LSE, in this case) and the extra funds that aren’t used to pay tuition are sent to me. Now, this wouldn’t irritate me quite so much if the school took the entire tuition payment up front at the beginning of the year and sent the rest over to me. Instead, the school takes disbursements: one in September, one in January and one in April and I get the extra at each given payment period. If it were a US-based institution, my only issue would be the fact that I couldn’t have all of the money up front to manage on my own (versus the school managing my disbursements), but since this is a foreign institution, I have to deal with a whole other facet: the exchange rate! As of this moment, the exchange rate is $1.649… definitely not the best, but I can deal with it. If the exchange rate goes up even more in the coming months then my money is worth even less!

I’m not entirely sure how they do it… it would seem logical to take all of the money, convert it and pull disbursements at the three given points in time (to reduce exchange rate exposure/transaction exposure), but I highly doubt it’s that efficient. In the case that they take the three disbursement at the exchange rate on the given day, I am crossing my fingers that the exchange rate will drop, like many professionals have projected. (Note: Many forex pros that I have spoken with have said that they feel the exchange rate will go down/the US dollar will strengthen, however the exchange rate has not dropped at all as of late. In fact, it has increased in the last couple of months, leading to a definitely loss of faith in my ‘sources’.)

Although it’s a little irritating, I’m trying my best to not let these things bother me, since they’re not under my control. Getting upset clearly doesn’t solve anything and just puts me in a bad mood. Maybe if we collectively think happy thoughts, the exchange rate will become more favorable! We should probably start now!

Talk soon,

Signature Stamp - Shannon

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