Student life can be hard, but it doesn't need to be harder than necessary. If you are moving to study in the UK, we've got made it simple as we compiled for you this list of the best bank accounts for students in the UK
What's a student bank account?
A student bank account is a bank account made for those in higher education. They let you pay money in and out, and offer other benefits such as an interest-free overdraft.
How can I open a student bank account?
To be accepted you'll need a UCAS confirmation letter with an unconditional offer, or you'll need to have A-Level results if your offer's conditional.
What else do I need to open an account?
As with all bank accounts, you'll need proof of address and identity. This can include passport, birth certificate, current UK photocard driving licence or full UK paper licence.
What you need to know
Beware of the student bank account “freebies”
Like everything else in life: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Offers including free products, insurance, cashback rewards and other amazing deals, probably have some catch that you need to check accurately.
Get the 0% overdraft
Most (students) people need an overdraft, which means that the bank lets you spend more than you've got (ideally at no extra cost) to a set amount. While choosing the right bank account, you should aim to get the biggest and longest 0% overdraft.
Don't just apply for the maximum overdraft possible just because you can afford it. In fact, the smaller your overdraft, the less likely you'll end up having a massive debt with the bank at the end of your studies.
Here are the student bank accounts available for new customers and the 0% overdraft amount they offer:
0% isn't forever
Beware that the 0% interest period is not forever! It only lasts a certain number of years after you graduate before interest kick in. This means that you'll need to start paying back as soon as possible.
Never go over your overdraft limit
This isn't a rule just for students, it's a rule for everyone. What you need to remember is that if you stay within your limit there's usually NO COST. But, if you go over that limit, you are going to be charged interest, sometimes up to a huge 24% EAR. So, if you are struggling, try instead to adopt some of these tricks to save money, rather than borrowing from the bank.
Know the repayment conditions
Another important element, is to deeply understand your repayment conditions: will you have to suddenly repay 5000£? Do you only have a year to pay your overdraft? Read the small prints very carefully before signing any contract.
After uni, switch to a top graduate account
Your aim straight after uni should be to pay down your 0% overdraft. If that's not possible, for at least a year after finishing your course, you're still eligible for preferential terms, including 0% interest overdrafts, allowing you to gradually pay off the debt.
After considering all the elements above, we've selected the best bank accounts for students in the UK below
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