How to Open a Student Bank Account?
Excited for your first year at uni in the UK? We know it may be a little bit scary as you are moving out of your parents’ house and starting a new and very important chapter of your life and you’ll want to be ready and be prepared. One of the first things you’ll have to do, is open a bank account in the UK. To keep you on the right track, we have prepared an ultimate guide and covered everything you need to know about opening a student bank account.
What accounts are available?
For international students
As an international student, having a UK bank account can be useful for everyday shopping, paying study fees or rent. The best option is to open a “basic bank account” which will allow you to withdraw the money from cash machines, make and receive payments. However, a basic bank account means that you are not eligible for a credit, you don’t get an overdraft or a credit card.
For UK students
Student accounts are meant for higher education students. Like with any other bank account, you are able to get the money in and out, and withdraw cash from ATMs. On top of that, you are given additional perks, like interest-free overdrafts. That means whenever you spend above your set amount, the banks lend money for you to spend with no additional interest to pay. Just remember that you will have to pay it back, so don’t get too comfortable.
Things to look for:
Always ask how much exactly you can overdraft.
Banks tend to lure students with generous interest-free overdrafts and it is really convenient benefit to have when you are a student on a tight budget.
Look for the bank that offers the largest student overdraft because you never know when you need it – it is always good to have a back up. Also, don’t get too crazy with overspending and going above your overdraft allowance, the bank may remove it and charge you extra fees.
It is highly recommended to read bank’s charges policy before signing up with the bank. You do not want to get unexpected charges for unauthorized overdraft, taking cash from foreign cash machines. Always read the small print for any additional terms and conditions.
There are plenty of free ATMs around the UK so there should be no problem in taking cash out.
However, it is always nice to have a bank nearby if you prefer banking in person. It saves you time and commute time, so you don’t have to drag across the whole city to get to your branch. Most of the students tend to use online banking or an app more, so it is worth exploring bank’s services and see which one meets your needs.
Banks have some perks and benefits for students; however, you should not easily fall for it. Freebies for students may include short-term offers, discounts, cashback rewards – it all sounds appealing but you have to think smart and evaluate the overall bank’s services facilities. After all, there are some discounts that you can simply get with your student ID, so opening a bank account solely because of freebies is not worth it.
What do you need to open a bank account?
- Your ID – it must be your passport, driving license, ID card (if you are an EU citizen) or visa ( for international students)
- UCAS confirmation letter – a letter of acceptance from a university to prove your student status and your address
It may take up to 2 weeks for the bank to perform credit and security checks so make sure to bring your personal bank card to use while you are waiting for your new bank account.
Which bank to choose?
Choosing a bank to open a student account can be a nightmare – there’s just too much information and different services to choose from. For all of the struggling ones, here’s comparison table of banks and their terms for 2017/18:
Once you’ve decided on the bank to go with, you can take a deep breath and start getting ready for your studies. But wait, have you already sorted out your accommodation? If not, you have to hurry up because September is approaching fast – Best Student Halls will ensure you get an amazing room for a competitive price. We would love to help and accommodate your needs so feel free to contact us at anytime.