Choosing the best student bank account is probably one of the most crucial financial decisions you will make in your life to date. Up until now, the likelihood is that you have had the same bank account for most of your life and this may well have been opened for you when you were very young.
Suddenly, you are off to university and are being expected to decide on a bank account that will have all sorts of rates, offers and pitfalls to watch out for once your studies are over. This can make finding the best free bank account somewhat of an arduous task and one that many students approach with a certain amount of trepidation and fear.
This tends not to change too much year on year, as the bigger high street banks tend to have the best offers but it’s always worth shopping around as much as you can to make the most of the freebies on offer and of course, the best rates.
One of the first considerations when look at student bank accounts is of course the overdraft. It’s always good to know what kind of buffer you have when the semester is dragging on a little bit or you have some social events that come out of nowhere.
Below you will see the latest student bank accounts and how much you can expect to receive as a 0% overdraft should you decide to open your account with them.
Bank Max 0% Overdraft
Barclays £1,000 Yr 1, £2,000 Yr 2 then £3,000
Bank of Scotland £1,500 in Years 1-3 then £2,000
Nationwide £1,000 Yr 1, £2,000 Yr 2 then £3,000
Lloyds £1,500 in Years 1-3 then £2,000
Royal Bank of Scotland £2,000
Santander £1,500 Yrs 1-3, £1,800 Yr 4 then £2,000
Handle Your Student Account with Care
Really, other than the rates above choosing the best student bank account comes down to personal choice and who you think you will prefer using for at least the next three years of your life. We would suggest organising a meeting with the bank manager of your favourites and go to see them before your studies begin, as you will be far too busy once they do. It is also a good idea to have your account set up and have all your cards and documentation sorted well in advance.
Once it is set up, it is also vital that you handle it with care and maturity. The key thing to remember, is never going above that pre-agreed overdraft limit. This applies to student accounts but is something that will serve you well throughout your life, as this can cause serious problems.
If this does happen you will see charges going through the roof, making it harder to get back in the green and your credit rating will be adversely impacted too. If you think you are going to go over this limit, contact your bank as they may be able to offer a solution.
Be Sure to Switch After University
Finally, it is important to manage this overdraft sensibly as the best plan is to shut this account when your degree finishes and switch to a better graduate account with more benefits and most likely, lower overdraft fees. So, the lower your overdraft is when you complete your course the easier it will be to shut it down and get yourself onto a far more suitable product.
When looking for the best student bank accounts for 2018, you may want to use some of the comparison sites out there to see what the current rates are as these change all the time but the above list and our tips for success should point you in the right direction.
Any financial product is quite a personal choice as everyone’s spending habits are different, just don’t choose a bank that is close to home or that your parents use as this will not equate to the best decision for you. Do your research!