Congratulations, you got into university! All of that stress and hard work paid off and you will soon be moving into your new home. But with this great new adventure comes responsibility as you will be made to budget, pay rent and look after yourself.
Student loans can be a great help, but you need to make sure you have the right student bank account to help you manage your money. There are so many offers available with student bank accounts so it can be quite daunting, but we have got some tips to help you make the right choice.
Sticking with what you know
If you already have a savings and cash point account with one bank it may be easier to just stick with what you know. Opening a student bank account with your already chosen bank can make things easier when it comes to managing your money, online banking and paying by card as everything is in one app/place so you don’t have to worry about how much is on each card for each bank account.
Some banks will also offer better rates/perks to existing customers who open up other bank accounts with them such as student bank accounts.
Depending on how much money you are expecting to get from student finance, your family, savings and whether you have a job will determine if you need an overdraft or not. Many students will use an overdraft to help them pay for their living expenses and each bank will have a different limit.
Some banks will have a small limit of £250 which will increase every year throughout your university study. Other banks will have a limit that you can set yourself (up to a set amount usually no more than £2,000). It is always good to have an overdraft as a safety net, but if you don’t think you are going to need that extra help then this isn’t something you should necessarily base your decision on.
Always look at the fine print however and check how long you have to pay your overdraft of once you finish university.
Perfect for commuters
A lot of student bank accounts now are offering some form of transport perk – these are usually in the form of a free railcard. If you are going to be a commuter then this is perfect for you. Or if you are going to be going back and forth to home on the weekends or more often than the timetabled holidays. However I would not suggest basing your decision on this if you are only going to be traveling long distance at Christmas, Easter and at the summer holidays – it won’t be worth it/pay for itself if you only use it a few times.
There are also some other extra perks student bank accounts may offer such as a higher interest on a savings account, free cash, some form of freebie (voucher usually) or a free NUS card every year whist you are at university.
If none of the above tick any boxes for you and you are only getting a student bank account because you want to upgrade your normal account then it might be worth just looking into the smaller perks.
What do you think? What other advice would you add? Have your say in the comments section below.