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Student account Q&A

19th May 2022

It’s one of the most exciting milestones in a young person’s life – entering higher education.

New experiences and new horizons beckon, and you may even be leaving home for the first time.

But whether your new life takes you to a new city, or you’re staying at home with your family, you are about to take on some new financial responsibilities too.

With fees, student loans and perhaps a part-time job to factor in, it’s more important than ever to stay on top of your finances.

And the first step to being in control is choosing the right bank account.

Do you need a student account, or can you continue to use the account that’s seen you through your teens so far?

This quick guide will give you the confidence to choose the best place for your money during your student years, and help you build the foundations of a stronger financial future once you graduate.


What is a student bank account?

It is as simple as it sounds - a bank account designed for people in higher education.

You can pay money in, withdraw cash, pay bills and set up Direct Debits.

Because they are designed for students, they recognise you may have irregular cash flow and could run short of money at times. This is why most student accounts offer an interest-free overdraft facility up to a certain amount.


How is a student account different from other current accounts?

The main difference is that interest-free overdraft facility, which usually wouldn’t need to be paid back for a minimum of six years.

Some accounts may also offer gifts and incentives, but you should always check they are useful to you - for example, a shop discount card may not be worth it if you don’t shop in there frequently.


Can I have two accounts?

You can generally have more than one current account, and it may be possible to have two student accounts. You should check the terms and conditions before opening an account.


Do I have to have a student account?

Students can use a standard current account, but you would not receive the same benefits of a student account.

You can also transition from a student account to a graduate account when you finish university, to help you bridge the gap between studies and the world of work.


Are student bank accounts free?

Most student accounts are free to use.

However, some student accounts may have charges or fees, such as using a card abroad or late payments.


How do I open a student account?

You can usually apply online, but you may have to take your ID documents into a branch.

Banks may also ask for proof of your student status, such as a UCAS offer letter or written confirmation from your college or university.


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