Student banking: How to choose a student bank account 🤑

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Starting university can be a daunting process. It can involve some big life decisions, many of which will be financial ones.

Among those big financial decisions is the prospect of choosing a student bank account!

The choice of account can be very important as it’s where, if you are eligible for one, your student loan will be paid into.

Once opened, it is likely that you will manage most of your finances at university.

So, it’s important that you pick a student account that works for you.


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What is a student bank account?

A student bank account is, in most of its functions, a regular bank account. However, it includes certain elements and perks that are designed to benefit university students.

With interest-free overdrafts and cool offers, student current accounts should be an essential feature of your university life.

You’ll really appreciate the ability to borrow interest-free money from your bank if you’re strapped for cash!

Anyone who is over 18 and is a full time undergraduate or postgraduate student is eligible for a student bank account.


Why get a student bank account?

Student bank accounts are a no brainer!

They’re designed specifically for you, and made to make your life easier!

It’s essential that you choose the right one for you. And you should consider a number of key factors, features, and perks.

It can be easy to get caught up in the marketing and sales tactics of the banks.

So, here is a student banking comparison to help you when making your choice.


A big student overdraft

It’s no secret that the maintenance loan from the government doesn’t cover the living costs of the average student. Unfortunately, this means that many need all the help they can get.

Thankfully, the banks have a nice little perk for students.

You can get a student overdraft that allows you to borrow money with 0% interest for the time that you’re at university!

You’d usually expect to get up to £2,000, but some banks like HSBC even offer an overdraft up to £3,000.

These amounts tend to be tiered. So, the longer you study the more you’ll be eligible to apply for.

The majority allow you at least one year after graduating to pay it back.

After this, they will start to charge interest or reduce the overdraft bit by bit.

So, it’s well worth checking the overdraft repayment conditions before you choose your account.


Student banking offers

The freebies that come with student accounts are usually seen as the most valuable perk. However, you should take them with a pinch of salt.

It’s easy for a bank to offer you something for free that you could either get from elsewhere or buy yourself for a small cost.

In recent years, the free stuff on offer has included 16-25 railcards, cash, and in-credit interest.

While these are good student banking offers, think carefully about their real value to you.

Weigh these up against the other big benefits, like the overdraft, as they could be much more useful.

Banking app features

In recent years, the banking market has been flooded by app-based banks, such as Monzo.

These banks haven’t entered the student current account market yet, but they’ve spurred the old-school banks to improve their apps.

One key feature of the app-based banks is the ability to budget on the go. While other banks have caught up, their offerings tend to differ wildly.

Check out their websites to get an overview of their apps and see if one would suit your budgeting style. It might seem like a small choice, but it could make a big difference overall.


Do I have to open a student bank account?

Student current accounts are completely optional. But it is hard to turn down the benefits that they offer.

It is an important decision, though, and one that takes a lot of thought.

Beyond what we’ve covered, there are other things to consider when picking your student bank account.

These include customer support, reviews, company ethics, and to some extent the location of the nearest branch.

However, when starting out, the main points above are essentials to focus on!


What student bank account should I get?

Do your research and choose the bank that’s right for you. Even if you have to switch from the account you’re currently holding!

In some cases, you could switch as a current student too. You don’t have to be starting university this year.

Far too many students stick with the bank that they were with before university, or even go with the same as their friends or family.

This could cost you. It’s important to remember that the banks aren’t loyal to you, so you don’t need to be loyal to them!


If you’d like more info on what to look for head to Save the Student for a full breakdown of the best deals this year, as well as feedback from other students currently at university.

If you’re travelling to London for a job interview, read our blog for more money-saving tips!

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