We are French residents. Our daughter is considering a UK university for September – how would we regularly move money over for tuition fees, living costs etc.?
When making a regular currency transfer via your bank, you would normally be charged a tourist exchange rate, which is similar to the rate you would receive when exchanging cash at a bureau de change. A currency broker will, however, offer competitive foreign exchange rates on all money transfers overseas, regardless of the amount and frequency. Moreover, you would also save money on transfer fees as banks charge for repeat payments.
The quickest, easiest and stress-free option to cover regular expenses such as student’s living costs is to set up a standing order with your currency broker: once you have instructed your bank to pay a set amount at regular intervals (monthly, quarterly, bi-annually, etc.) to your currency specialist’s account, they will convert your funds automatically and make a payment to the beneficiary’s account of your choice. Having a standing order in place ensures you will never miss an overseas payment while still benefiting from highly competitive exchange rates and no transfer fees. This payment plan can be amended or cancelled any time, at no cost.
For larger regular payments, such as the payment of tuition fees, it is however important to plan ahead: in-depth knowledge combined with latest market analysis provided by your currency expert will help you with the timing of your transactions, so you trade when the rate is more advantageous, meaning more savings. When the market is in your favour, even if the tuition fees (or any other payment) aren’t due yet, you can fix the exchange rate and schedule your payments for up to 12 months, using a forward contract. It means that your rate is guaranteed, even if the market moves against you.
These options are suitable, not only for university-related costs but also for a variety of regular payments such as an overseas mortgage, a pension or in case you need to send money back home whilst working abroad.