Ok so you’ve got your uni choices, you’ve got your accommodation, you’ve even been to Paperchase and bought 5 pencil cases, a range of notebooks and a novelty paperweight for your desk, but you’re forgetting the most important thing: your student bank account.
Millions of pounds locked away in massive vaults, men in posh suits, scary words like mortgages, investments, interest rates etc can make banks seem like scary places. However its 2017, the scary banks of our childhoods are gone. Instead friendly staff in fetching uniforms greet us when we enter, normally there is even a lovely person waiting on hand in case you have no idea what you’re doing!
Every single bank on your high street will off a student account, but with so much choice who do you go for? Well that’s not for us to decide, but we can give you some handy tips on how to choose the best account for you.
Knowing what is important
You will need to look into the following;
How much overdraft can YOU specifically get? Is it guaranteed?
What are the repayment conditions?
Is there any interest? If not will there be in the future?
Even if you have no idea what you’re doing when it comes to banking, you must have heard of overdrafts? Overdrafts are a way of you borrowing money from your bank. What is great about student overdrafts is that they are 0% interest, meaning you pay back exactly what you owe.
However that handy 0% interest does not last forever. Each bank will have a policy on how quickly you have to pay this back. For example say you took a £2000 overdraft? You may have only used 1500 of it, and your bank has stated that you have two months after your graduation to pay all of this back. If you do not you will be charged interest, (basically extra money to the bank).
This is the same for if you go over your overdraft. Again as an example you have £2000 overdraft yet you’ve spent £2500, you will then be served some very large charges for doing so.
This may seem stupid, BUT having a bank around the corner can be a lifesaver at times!
You may have a cheque from an older relative who hasn’t quite mastered online banking yet. Or you may have lost your card and need to call into a branch. Having your bank on your doorstep really can improve your student experience.
Beware of the freebies
Lots of banks these days are calling out for students. This is because when you graduate you’ll hopefully get a decent job and stay with this bank with all your new lovely money. The ways in which banks do this, is by offering attractive freebies. Free railcards, vouchers, giftcards etc all look amazing but, sadly they are usually used to hide the fact that the account itself isn’t so great. Always try to look past them and focus on the important stuff!
Setting up a good bank account can mean plain sailing in financial terms for your entire time as student. So have a shop about, look at what you can get and get the best deal!