Student bank accounts
What is a student bank account?
A student bank account is a type of account that is solely offered to students. The accounts generally offer benefits designed to help people in full time education, taking into account that perhaps you won’t be working full time or regularly earning a wage.
The main benefits usually include an interest-free overdraft, and a freebie or incentive to sign up
Which is the best student bank account?
The quickest way to find the best student accounts is to compare what’s out there. When you compare student bank accounts, you will probably be drawn to the account with the largest overdraft for the longest interest-free term. Some student accounts will offer you a 0% interest for up to a year after you graduate, too.
If you’re looking for the best student overdraft, a good thing to consider is the difference between a guaranteed overdraft amount, and an ‘up to’ overdraft amount. A guaranteed overdraft means you will be given the maximum amount (as long as you adhere to the other requirements of having the account), but ‘up to’ means there is no guarantee. If you choose a student account that advertises an ‘up to’ overdraft, you will undergo a credit check and the size of the overdraft will be decided by this. If you want to increase the amount, it’s likely that you’ll have to apply to extend this.
Some student banking accounts will offer tiered overdraft amounts, meaning the overdraft offering will increase with each year of your studies.
Comparing the freebies or incentives on offer with student bank accounts can help you find extras, but these accounts may not have such a competitive overdraft facility. To find the best bank for students, you’ll need to think about whether the value or benefit of the incentive outweighs the advantages of a good overdraft offering.
Can I have more than one student account?
Some banks don’t mind if you open more than one student account, others will stipulate that the account you have with them needs to be your only student account. Others will require you have your loan payment directed into that account. Always check the terms and conditions when considering which bank to go with, and make sure you choose the student account that is right for you.
What are the advantages of student accounts?
As well as offering interest free overdrafts, student bank accounts can also include things like cashback offers tailored to your shopping interests, brand discounts, or freebies such as a young person’s railcard or a National Express coachcard.
What are the disadvantages of student accounts?
The main thing to remember with your overdraft is that it’s interest-free money, not free money. Overdraft is just another word for debt, and the bigger your overdraft, the more money you will have to pay back.
If you go beyond your overdraft limit, you might be subject to charges or fees. Incurring fees like this could also affect your credit score.
Furthermore, when the interest free period ends, it can be a big shock to the system as you’ll have to start paying interest on the amount you’re overdrawn by. If you miss a payment, you risk facing late payment fee – if you’re up to your overdraft limit, fees or added interest can push you past your overdraft limit, and you risk being stung by even more fees.