Before opening a student bank account, you need to trawl the market for the most appropriate deal for your needs. There are several different incentives designed to attract new undergraduates. This is because university graduates earn more and remain loyal to that financial institution in the future.
If you’re looking to qualify for the best student bank accounts, you’ll need to pass a credit check. If you have borrowed money in the past, you must have repaid it punctually. Lenders report to credit reference agencies, so failing to pay your debts on time will lead to a bad credit rating. If you haven’t borrowed money before, this isn’t a problem in the UK.
Opening a Student Bank Account: Basic Legal Requirements
You’re going to need to prove who you are and that you live at the address specified on the application form. All banks and building societies are now required by law to verify this information before allowing you to open an open student bank account. The following information is required:
- Proof of identity: passport, photocard driving license, NHS medical card, birth certificate, blue disabled driver’s pass, or National Insurance card.
- Proof of address: Letter from the student loan company, college offer letter, photocard driving license, utility bill, vehicle registration documents, or council tax bill.
It is necessary to note that one cannot use the same document to prove your identity and address.
Best Student Bank Accounts Offer a High Interest-free Overdraft Facility
Unless you are from a relatively wealthy family, student debt is likely a way of life for the next 3 or 4 years. With this in mind, the best student account has the highest low interest or interest-free overdraft facility. It can save you a small fortune in interest payments.
Most of the student overdraft facilities are very similar, with two notable exceptions. Halifax gets most of the headlines with its offer of up to a £3,000 interest-free overdraft. Although very enticing, you’re unlikely to qualify for more than £500 in your first six months and £1,000 in your first year.
If you want a guaranteed overdraft facility that starts from your first day, you should look closely at what the cooperative bank offers undergraduates. They provide an interest-free overdraft of up to £2,000 with £1,400 guaranteed in your first term.
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How to Select the Top Student Bank Account
The ‘best student bank account’ is a misnomer because the net value of incentives tends to be very similar. Any freebies are just allocated in different ways. This means that you must compare student bank accounts to determine which one has the most relevant features for your lifestyle.
Before opening a student bank account, you must look at nine financial institutions’ specific deals on offer. Given that most students are heavily in debt by the time they leave school, you’d be well advised to compare student bank accounts based on the size of the interest-free overdraft facility they provide.