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> Student Bank Account - UK Guide
In a nutshell
A bank account designed for use by students.
Best Bank Account For
Anybody that is studying can benefit from a student bank account.
The average student bank account will have most of the features and services that are offered with standard bank accounts - although certain elements may be restricted or limited. In addition, you'll find that student bank accounts are often specifically tailored to help students manage their finances. So, you may be given preferential interest rates for loans products, for example, and access to specially trained student advisors.
The majority of student bank accounts will also offer reduced rate or free basic services to help you manage your money better. So, you may be offered completely free banking, for example, or an interest free overdraft facility. For most people their time in higher education will be the first time they have really had to manage their own money and their incomings may be erratic - a student bank account can help keep costs low and can make budgeting that bit easier.
What to look out for
The best thing you can look for in a student account is firstly the best range of products and services you can find at the lowest cost (or ideally free) - even if you don't think you'll use them all. You may not think, for example, that you'll need an overdraft - but, if your student loan is held up for any reason, then you may need to access some quick cash. So, if you haven't already got a student bank account with an overdraft you could end up paying over the odds to borrow the money till your loan comes through.
You should be basically looking for free products and services of this type or ones that offer preferential rates with a student bank account. The less you have to pay for your student bank account, the better it will be for you. And, with so many high street banks waiving their fees and offering discounts to attract student business, there really is no need to pay for these services at all. It'll be hard to actually find a student bank account that won't also offer you a range of 'nice to have' benefits. These can include discounts, free gifts (such as CDs and DVDs), free railcards, driving lessons - the list really is endless. These benefits are simply 'nice to have' and you shouldn't solely base your choice of student bank account on what they'll give you as a freebie as that could cost you in the long run. Some banks will even put hard cash up as a benefit here but you need to be careful with this kind of offer. For example, your bank account may come with a credit card attached which you decide to only use for emergencies. However, your bank may then offer you a one-off payment the first time you actually use the card - you'll probably take this offer up to get the cash but it can then get all too easy to carry on using the card. In general you need to be careful with your borrowings on a student bank account as a whole as it's all too easy to graduate and find out that your debts are even larger than you anticipated. Many banks will let you carry on with your student account once you are finished studying or may transfer you to a special graduate account. This is not a bad option to look at as you'll then get specifically targeted benefits, discounts and low rates on those banking products and services that will be useful to you as you start work etc.
If you're in full-time education then this is probably the best bank account for you.