Understanding Student Bank AccountsSee All Uni Advice Articles
Becoming a university student requires more than reading a textbook and sometimes completing an essay for coursework. It somehow changes your lifestyle, from what you do for leisure, the work you do and even your student bank account! Here is all you need to know about opening a student bank account!
Switch if it is better for you
Switching or opening a new bank account for a university isn’t always the best idea for everyone if they have a great bank and are able to get the support they need during their studies. However, as most young people who go to university may not even have a current account before receiving their results looking around can prove helpful.
Weigh up the competition
Banks compete with each other like any other shops you see on the high street or shopping mall. They compete to have members of the public bank with them, and they want you to do. Many banks or building societies offer perks for students who decide to use them. Look and compare the competition and weigh up the options and see what the best student bank account is best for you. If a railcard will suit you if you are commuting from home and not travelling during peak time, find a bank that offers that. If you want a small student overdraft for emergencies available to choose the bank that will offer that to you. It would be very beneficial to read on student budgeting tips, as more money saved is a happy student!
Read the small print
Banks have small print, and sometimes it can seem so small that you don’t even know about it! Read every piece of information given to you, even the small print which can be really annoying! If you end up signing up to a student overdraft, remember it won’t last too long after you graduate, so don’t let yourself sitting in the red!
Set up a meeting with someone
Some banks allow you to apply online for a student bank account and if it is your own bank that you are with currently they might just offer it to you willy-nilly – but this doesn’t mean it is a good thing. Set up a meeting with a person in branch for you to be able to talk to face to face. You’ll be able to see all the information and be in a better environment to make a decision (and you won’t be up late at night applying for anything!)
If you have questions, or your scenario is different to the standard student tell the staff member at the bank and see what they can do for you. They know all of their options and what they can offer you to make your time with them as pleasant as possible. Ask, ask, and ask. Budgeting for first years at university is the most difficult of all the years, being in a new enviroment with lots of initial outgoings, it’s essential that budgeting is on point from the beginning!
Don’t sign up to an overdraft if you don’t need one
Having an overdraft might seem glamorous, but in reality, it is just borrowing money. And you need to work out if you need this and what you’re going to be spending this money on. If your payday is after your univerity’s Fresher’s Week, but you want money for going out, an overdraft is not for you. Overdrafts do usually cost money, and most student banks will begin charging students after they finish their course – you’ll owe money just for borrowing, even if you’re not paying it back! If you can’t pay it back now, then you won’t be able to later, or it will take longer than you thought to clear the debt.
Sign up to a student overdraft instead of a normal one
Some students just stay with their banks and don’t switch to a student bank account during their studies which is fine too. However, sometimes unforeseen circumstances can end up being pricey for anyone, and you might have to go into your overdraft. If this is the case, then contact your bank as soon as you can to be able to set up a student overdraft, because a standard overdraft on a current account or an account similar will cost you.
Don’t choose the bank your friends did
Lastly, don’t just choose the bank and bank account offer that your friends or new housemates did. Yes, it might be good for them, but that doesn’t mean it is for you! You might end up having a terrible experience with your bank for three years or until you have the time and patience to switch to another!
Research is key
Most people don’t research their bank, and it will prove very helpful if you do before signing that document! Find out where your local banks are, is this new bank local to where you will be at university, work or at home? People forget how stressful it can be when you need to get to the bank urgently and find out it isn’t even near your student accommodaiton and you have to travel half hour to your local branch! Or if online banking and mobile banking is perfect for your lifestyle, but your bank doesn’t offer that. Maybe you will need to transfer money to another person, to pay a bill or be able to use your card for contactless payments, does your bank offer this?
If you are unsure about certain aspects of the bank account, speak to the staff member at the bank, on their helpline, look on their website, or you can speak to a family or friend member who understands your situation. You can even research on financial websites such as Money Saving Expert to help you make the right decision for you which will support you during your three years studying.
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