What are the best student bank accounts?

Before heading to university for the first time, one of the key things to organise after confirming your place and your student accommodation (with Host of course) is a student bank account. To aid you, we’ve done some snooping online to find the best student bank accounts – so you don’t have to!

What is a student bank account?

Put simply it’s a regular bank account made for those in higher education. You can pay money in and out, while benefitting from an interest-free overdraft.

Typically, the condition of receiving the perks of a student account is that you arrange for your student loan to be paid into that account.

What do I need to set up a student bank account?

best student bank accounts

To set up a student bank account you will need your normal essentials, such as proof of address and identity. These can be in the form of a current UK driving license, passport or birth certificate. Your UCAS code or confirmation letter from the university will also be required. If you were given a conditional offer from the university, then you may need to show your A-level results. As soon as you’ve got these you can open an account, allowing you extra time to benefit before the term starts.

What to be careful of what applying for student bank accounts.

Similarly to opening any form of bank account, it is really important to check the terms and conditions especially of any overdrafts. Check if the overdraft is ‘guaranteed’ or ‘up to’ – up to means you’ll probably only get the maximum overdraft if you have a good credit record.

Banks may allow you to increase your overdraft limit over the course of your studies, but remember that having a large overdraft that is interest-free doesn’t mean you should use it. Your top aim should be to budget and live within your means and use your overdraft for a rainy day or for worst case scenarios. You will have to pay it back once you are finish with your studies, or pay interest until it is fully paid off.

Am I allowed more than one student bank account?

You can have more than one current account or saving account, although with student accounts, it is unlikely you’ll be granted more than one. The terms of student accounts are typically that your student loan will be paid in to them. As you will only be receiving one loan, you can’t open multiple accounts. Banks regularly check to see that this is happening, so be careful before trying.


So what are the best student bank accounts?

student banks

Well according to those helpful people at MoneySavingExpert.com, these are the top student accounts:

NatWest & Royal Bank of Scotland:

The highest 0% overdraft after the first term.

  • 0% overdraft: First Term: £500 | Second Term – End of Second Year: £2,000 | Year 3+: up to £3,250
  • Perks: £100 FREE cash & a four-year Tastecard. To get these perks, just open to account and the £100 is then paid within 10 working days and you’ll be emailed a code to redeem the Tastecard within 5 days

Santander:

A guaranteed 0% overdraft each year.

  • 0% overdraft: Years 1-3: £1,500 | Year 4: £1,800 | Year 5: £2,000
  • Perks: Four-year 16-25 Railcard

HSBC:

A 0% overdraft plus £100 cash.

  • 0% overdraft: Year 1: £1,000 | Year 2: up to £2,000 | Year 3 & beyond: up to £3,000.
  • Perks: £100 FREE cash and a one-year Headspace subscription. To get it, open the account & use the debit card 5+ times within 30 days – the £100 is then paid within 30 days and you’ll be emailed the Headspace voucher within 45 days (must use it by 31 March 2024)

Want to compare bank accounts or gain a second opinion from MonseySavingExpert? Then check out Compare the Market’s guide to student bank accounts.


If you are still looking for somewhere to live for the next academic year?

All-inclusive student accommodation is a popular choice for students regardless of their year of study. You will get peace of mind knowing there wont be any nasty shocks or bills posted through your door. Simply ensure you pay your rent on time and make the most of your time as a student. PBSA accommodation can also offer great social spaces for residents free of charge, such as gyms, cinemas, study spaces and laundry facilities.

Student accommodation providers vary and what they offer can differ. Read our tips on finding the right student accommodation for you.


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Look inside any of our properties and you’ll discover a comfortable, stylish and safe place to live. Somewhere welcoming and supportive. Happy and relaxed. A place to make the most of being a student. A home.

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