Tips for choosing and opening your student bank account

If you’re starting Uni in September, you’ll most likely have a long list of things to sort before the long-awaited move-in day. Arguably, one of the most important things on that list is setting up your student bank account, the one that your student loan is going to drop into in September (exciting times). There are a couple of things you need to look out for when deciding on what bank account to go with for your student account:

An overdraft

Ok, we all know that students apparently spend 99% of their time deep in their overdrafts. You need to carefully think about if you want a student account with an overdraft. I would personally recommend it because I think it gives you a wonderful safety net, and you aren’t going to end up with no food or unable to pay your rent if things go wrong.

But, make sure it is a free overdraft, and think about how much you want it to allow (usually, the best bet is the biggest 0% overdraft you can get). It’s important that you choose a specific student account because they have 0% interest overdrafts! It’s important to remember that you will have to pay interest if you go over your overdraft limit, though.

Budgeting helps as to prevent repeatedly landing into your overdraft zone on a monthly basis.

Look at the incentives

Consider the incentives that different bank account options offer, but don’t get sucked in purely by a freebie. Weigh up if the account is actually a good deal, and don’t just sign up for the cool freebie it offers. However, things like accounts offering free railcards and NUS cards are pretty good incentives, and if they’re also good bank accounts in general, it’s nothing to be sniffed at.

The overdraft is probably the most important thing to look at, but if they also offer better incentives than another account, that’s something to consider.

Go in prepared

Make sure you have all the documents you need when you go in to set up your account, or they won’t allow you to open one. The things you’ll need include: a passport or driver’s license, proof of address (like a letter or bank statement with your name and address on), and a letter of acceptance from your University/UCAS letter.

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