Throw Your Own Superbowl Party

Everyone’s gearing up for this year’s Superbowl, where we see the New England Patriots take on the Seattle Seahawks in the most anticipated game of the season. Worried about not getting a seat at the SU? Throw your own party and make it the best the campus has ever seen.

Getting Ready


Make getting ready a highlight of the night. With a pillow, some duct tape and some clever positioning you too can have the chunky silhouette of an American Football player. Do this before or after the game to celebrate. To complete the look make sure someone has gone to the shop and got an actual American Football – if you’re not a purist, a rugby ball is easier to get your hands on.

The Screen


The media student you know is now your best friend – they are the ones at the top of the list when it comes to renting equipment. If you can get your hands on a projector you’re in the game! Failing this, you’ll either have to go begging or grab hold of the biggest TV you have between your friends.



You could hardly miss this off your shopping list. This is where the beer connoisseurs really shine. The one redeeming factor about watching the Superbowl from the UK is that we don’t have to drink lager; instead, just roll up to the local and leave with a keg of Speckled Hen. Drink it from a red party cup and if anyone asks tell them it’s Coors Light.



Just like Christmas, this is a time to eat as much as you can over a few hours without any shame. The golden rule for Superbowl is to make sure everything is within hands’ reach and keep your eye on the screen. We recommend nachos and pizza – both great hot and cold, and obviously both go well with beer.

Tactical Half-Time


Half-time isn’t just for the players. You need to be efficient to get a tactical advantage. Plan to get this done whilst Katy Perry sings during the break, unless you like that kind of thing. Go to the toilet, restock food or if you really have to, manically run to the shop to stock up on more beer. Remember, the whole experience relies on a combination of late-night Dominos and a 24/7 bargain booze.


To be honest, in the UK nobody really knows what’s going on so just have a great night with your mates. Be forgiving to the newbies/everyone who isn’t sure of the rules, even if they ask ‘Isn’t this pretty much rugby?’. The more people you get loving American Football, the bigger and better the party next year.

Smart-Pig Wednesdays Cinema Giveaway!

With Orange Wednesdays ending in February, here at Smart-Pig HQ we’re offering 3 of you the chance to get your hands on a pair of cinema tickets.

In the middle of a Netflix marathon? Us too. Take one night off to go with one of your mates to a cinema of your choice, on us.

Just drop us a Like & share, or tell us about your favourite film. We’ll announce the lucky winners next Wednesday!

What Not To Spend Your Student Loan On: Part 2

What Not To Spend Your Student Loan On: Part 2

With student loans just hitting your account, we’ve come up with another list of items you simply should not buy. Print this off and stick it next to your computer as a deterrent for late-night online shopping.

17th Century Copies Of Black Magic Manuscripts

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At £3000 this is one to team up with your mate on. You always thought you would experiment at university, but instead of kissing other boys or girls you have instead taken up Black Magic. Suddenly the Uni of Lancaster is your own personal Hogwarts. You too can summon demons to do your bidding, curse lecturers and/or send the flatmate you don’t like insane. A world of possibilities awaits. We advise first checking with your university to see what their policy is in regards to pacts with the devil. *Goat blood not included. 

Fortnum & Mason ‘St James’ Hamper


Coming in at £1000 Fortnum & Mason claim this hamper is fit for a king. The only kingly aspect of getting this delivered to halls is that they will be using a solid silver stilton-spoon to fight the peasants off the foie gras. What’s more, once stashed away in the safety of your room there are only so many days it will sustain you before you are starved out and have to pop round the corner for a Gregg’s pasty.

Buscemi High-tops


In part one you were treated to a Lady-Macbeth-style monologue over my dark desire for a pair of Dior high-tops. The problem has been growing ever since, as now gaze wantonly at this tasteful, nay visionary, pair of Buscemi high-tops coming in at £620. Gold padlocks are no longer for cheap handbags and teenage diaries – the shoe padlock is now a thing. The laces on these babies have NO excuse for coming undone. Don’t buy them with your student loan – I’ll become unhinged by the injustice.

Alexander McQueen ‘Tech’ Backpack


There are several reasons why this McQueen backpack is a no-go. Referred to as the ‘Tech’ backpack, and costing £1295, once bought you will be unable to afford to put any tech inside it. Forget the iPad – you’ve already taken that down to CEX to fund the weekly food shop because of this. Also for that price, just look at it – it’s so boring! For this amount of money you would expect it to cook you breakfast, give you family planning advice, write all your essays and produce gold goose eggs daily. Instead, it will just sit in the corner mocking you and pretending to be a much, much cheaper backpack.

iPhone Leg Mount

Smart pig

The website that reportedly sold these has disappeared from the internet, so if you really want to be the sort of utter bellend who straps their iPhone to their leg in a lecture you’re simply going to have to make it yourself. We estimate £30 for supplies. It’s not going to break the bank but it will destroy your reputation, and more than one person is going to wonder what the hell you’re doing under the table. We’re not really sure of the appeal of this, but we think it’s designed for private home use where you might need a hands-free viewing experience. Use your imagination.

Budget Gift Ideas To Avoid This Xmas

It’s the time of year where everyone is short of cash. That is, apart from the annoying friend who bought it all in September over Amazon when they had the money. Apart from a quick run around Poundland on Christmas Eve for the last pair of eyelash curlers or Frozen themed body wash, there are a few other things you should plain and simply avoid.

Game – Christmas In A Tin £2

Sold in Game right next to the Xbox Ones is a food gift for those who will be busy testing their new games and consoles – you have the whole day layered into a tin. Each layer is more disturbing than the next. How much do you want individual layers of hell? Let’s start with the breakfast. Bacon and fried eggs – pretty nice, no problem with that one, but once your spoon cracks the surface you have the joy of liquidised mince pies and sprouts. It’s either gaming-related hunger pangs or this – I know which I’d prefer.

Homemade Vinyl Wall Clock £5

A very cheap way to have something naff to stick on your wall that says you want to be hip and a little bit indie. All you need to buy is a vinyl from a charity shop and a cheap clock-making kit. What originally sounds like a ‘shabby chic’ and ‘quirky’ thing to do dissolves into a nightmare when all the vinyl you can find is of Wham and Elton John. Gone is the desire to look cool by using either a Jazz or Rolling Stones one. Gone is the idea of a gift that says something about who you are as a person, and now you have a work of ‘art’ that isn’t even good enough to grace a skip.

Pretty Much Anything You’ve Tried Off Etsy £5

Googling gift ideas leaving you dry? Try the next stage of sifting through homemade goods on Etsy. Being too poor to buy them, you give it a go yourself. Being clever, you realise you can make the same thing for everyone – so you buy in bulk. It’s the time in your life where as a semi-confident adult it’s time to try and make soap. Feeling empowered, you set out only to  be greeted by a mixture of awful smells, chemical burns and allergic reactions. In times like this it’s safer just to go to a sale at The Body Shop and then wrap the soap in Lush-branded paper – hopefully no one will know the difference.

Paris Hilton – Confessions of an Heiress £1

Poundland should be congratulated on its choice of stock, as for just a pound, love it or hate it, you’ll buy it for someone who watched her series once – or who just has a propensity for being difficult with a fondness of wearing too much pink. With brilliant articles helping you be the most fabulous version or yourself, you think it’s a no-brainer. Could you believe you’re getting such a great deal when it’s on Amazon for £15? Well the answer is no – with article after article of vacuous nonsense probably not even written by her, it starts with being amusing but by the end the brain damage is too severe. Only buy for those you really hate.

Sexy Gifts From Anywhere £4

“Oh isn’t [insert flatmate name] such a laugh, he bought someone lube for Secret Santa again” – possibly the most bantish gift you could buy anyone for Xmas. It briefly makes people look like they have a sense of humour, the recipient not realising they had no other idea for a present, forgot about it today and lifted an unopened bottle of something Pina Colada-flavoured from the bottom draw (which their other bantish friends bought as a pre-uni gift).

Halloween On Us: Updated!

Halloween On Us: Updated!

Fancy having a night out on us? Simple – all you have to do is send us a photo of you in your awesome Halloween costume, and the best one will win a prize of £100 cash.

Either send us your photo on Facebook or through Twitter. We’re excited to see what you’ve all come up with.

The winner will be announced at 20:00 today and the money will be transferred instantly for your night out ;) .

Good luck!

6 People You Will Meet This Halloween

The Toilet Roll Zombie

You can guarantee at this time of year that someone will have forgotten to get a costume for the party. You will see them at the start rolling themselves in toilet roll and going round asking if anyone has any fake blood left. Usually a hit with the ladies in a club due to an unsurprising toilet roll shortage, it may be cheap and quick but ends up being a very useful costume, though it’s a miracle if it’s still somewhat intact by the end of the night.

The Tesco Vampire

The teeth are 40p and the fake blood is £1 – put something black on and they’re ready to go. Once the £1.40 has been factored into the budget the rest has been invested in pre-drink and enough to get into the club of choice come midnight. You will often see the Tesco Vampire playing beer pong, and later on see the teeth floating in the cup. By the end of the night they will look like they went as a goth.

The Doctor Who

They’ve spent a long time on their costume – they may have made it themselves or just gone for brown clothes with a bow-tie. Even though they’ll probably spend the party in someone’s room showing someone a blog on Tumblr, or their fan fiction, or just some fun images. All pretence is gone when later you spot them drunkenly pole-dancing as your mind (and phone camera) finally experiences what a pole-dancing Doctor Who would look like.

The Who Are You?

The Who Are You? has recently been to a convention and has an elaborate costume. You know it’s anime but you can’t quite place it. You see them spending the whole night telling people who they are and outlining the basic plot, including their opinion on whether the manga or anime is better. Which people will then reply to with ‘Do you like Pokemon – that’s anime right?’. This is unwise.

The Recycler

They have had the same costume for the last 5 years and just keep it handy to save time. They’ll be new at uni, so they’ll slip gently under the radar – until next year, when you see them again. You’ll find them at the bar, as they know that fancy dress just means drinking in funny outfits and it being acceptable.

The Banter

This is always the person who feels bravest, who is also the most likely to have a beer bong in his hand regardless of whether it’s a Monday or Friday. They could be one or two things – last year they came as Jimmy Savile and this year they’ll probably come as Ebola. Although tasteless, this usually causes people to cheer, and you usually find them at the bar being bought a steady stream of drinks by strangers applauding their bravery – or stupidity.

To get involved with our Halloween fancy dress competition head over to Smart-Pig Facebook, for a chance to win the night on us!

Enter SNOW14 For £25 Off Your Smart-Pig Loan

Promotion now expired. 

It’s Term 1: you’ve already paid for your bus pass, next year’s rent deposit, all those week 1 reunion parties, and now the chance of a lifetime has come – to go on snow tour and get piste.

We loved our student ski tour, but remember that paying for it left us feeling the pinch and a bit sensitive to other short-term money problems until our next student loan arrived in January.  And even once we’d run that gauntlet, running out of money on tour was no fun at all.

To help, we’ve created a code for our site.  Enter SNOW14 during your application to get £25 off your Smart-Pig loan.

Uses of the code are limited and it may be withdrawn at any time. For new customers only.

We are also looking to sponsor a University Ski Club.  If you’re interested, get in touch!

Representative Example APR
1024% based on credit: £200 for 55 days. Interest: £88. Interest rate: 292%pa (fixed). Total to repay: £288


Welcome To Our Blog is the student lender launched in 2012 by students at Warwick and Herts Universities , in order to give students looking for a short term loan a better deal.

We’re not the same as other short term lenders.  Smart-Pig was actually a spin-off from a protest against short term lending that thought out of the box – we rolled up our sleeves and went to head-to-head with the big, ugly giants. One of our founders had a terrible experience with a certain straight-talking lender after they talked his balance straight up to silly levels and sucked his whole student loan away without permission.

Smart-Pig was started partly using one of the government’s fantastic youth Start-Up Loans.  We were a nominated in 2013 for Rockstar Youth Best Overall Business and in 2014 were a finalist for Alternative Lender of the Year.

What we do differently

  • Grace Period – no extra fixed late payment or penalty fees if you miss your due date, for up to 10 days. Just in case.
  • Interest Cap – our voluntary interest cap is HALF the cap introduced by the FCA
  • No Rollovers – our short term loans don’t turn into long term ones
  • Ethical Pledge – the way we treat our customers is never going to change!
  • Founded by Students for Students – no-one knows student money like we do

Payday Loan Alternative

We see Smart-Pig loans as a payday loan alternative and not regular payday loans  (although they do come under the FCA definition).  This is because our company genuinely does work very differently – especially when it comes to the hidden stuff you don’t really see. It’s all because we were set up as an ethical lender from the ground up, meaning our pricing, loan terms, tangible ethical safeguards and internal procedures all have students’ welfare in mind.

Representative Example APR
1024% based on credit: £200 for 55 days. Interest: £88. Interest rate: 292%pa (fixed). Total to repay: £288

Valentine’s Winners!

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! We hope you have a great day, whether it be going on a date or simply marathoning a programme on Netflix.

Big shout out to Caolan Brown, Holliday Brooks and Angela Flor, who each won our £150 Valentine’s prize! Give Smart-Pig HQ a ring on 01926 298840 and we’ll sort out your prize.

When Halls Make You Mad

9 months of confinement and the only crime you’ve committed is filling out a UCAS application and being accepted to uni.

Some halls are amazing, some halls are pure hell, but in your darkest moments just repeat to yourself “It’s only 9 months till I get out”. Find ways to make it work for you – with the greatest of friends and pretty minimal effort you can have the best time in your first year. But just in case something goes wrong, we have a few solutions…

Cabin Fever

Prison bars

It’s like a horror film – apart from the disappointing part that no one ever seems to die. This is not eased by the design of most student flats. You wouldn’t be far wrong in believing it was designed either as a psychological experiment by the university, or at best by an interior designer with sociopathic tendencies who’s trying to punish you.

You can remedy this by simply turning up to lectures or going outside. Appreciate the trees on campus where you can. Failing this, do not cover your room in magazine clippings of nature as this is sure to unhinge you more.

The Disappearing Shower Product


You’ve gone to Lush and spent what is an unreasonable sum on a shower gel probably called ‘Glittery Rainbow Glitter Melt’. You weren’t told in the shop that it has the magic quality of evaporating when you’re not looking at it, because in fact other people are using it – and I don’t blame them. There’s nothing better than finding new products in the shower and giving them a sneaky test.

To solve this either keep it in your room, or if you have finally broken into passive aggressiveness fill a shower bottle with curry paste and wait for the screams.

The Excessively Loud Music


Firstly congratulate yourself on knowing all the words to the latest One Direction song. I apologise immediately for the fact you had to learn them through the ceiling from the person above you. No amount of note-leaving or door-banging can solve this issue. You’ve gone as far to debate having your ear drums surgically removed – but wait, there is help.

There is always the chance that the music will stop, at which point I would suggest either (or a combination of) heavy metal or consistently making sounds normally heard on a Herbal Essences advert at 5 in the morning – on cue, daily, for a week.

The Undried Washing

You’ve got to the laundry room and wasted about £4 washing and drying all your clothes at once for them to still be wet. You briefly enjoyed sitting in the laundry feeling like you’re in Eastenders before you’ve gotten bored and walked over to the pub to dull the pain by taking a series of shots at 4pm.

Now this really is a useful tip. Don’t let your towels go through the tumble drier. They take so long to dry that everything else remains wet – instead pop them on your radiator. You’ve now saved an extra £2 that can go on ‘food’.

The Drunken Doorbell


From personal experience, never has one sound brought immediate anger like the door intercom going off repeatedly from about 10pm-3am. Add extra hours to this if your door is on the walk to all the clubs and bars. This could cause you to hermit yourself in the 24-hour library, because you believe if you have an hour’s nap at each desk then move they won’t notice you live there – till you start leaving your toothpaste in the disabled toilet by accident.

Do not, as I watched someone do, tear the intercom off the wall – instead I’d go for putting it on mute, which if you look carefully IS possible. Either that or a large amount of duct tape and cotton wool will do.

Loans for Students. Warning: Late repayment can cause you serious money problems. For help, go to: Representative Example APR 1024% based on credit: £200 for 55 days. Interest: £88. Interest rate: 292%pa (fixed). Total to repay: £288