Choosing the right student account is nowhere close to the excitement that university is going to offer, but it is necessary that you make an informed decision with regards to the type of account you open.
You can save money and make your life run a lot smoother with the right bank backing you up. Follow these simple tips to find the account that best suits you.
Advantages of a student account
The main advantage of having a student account is the fact that they have been specifically designed to meet the needs of students and simplify the financial side of university living.
The fact that most student accounts offer overdraft facilities with no interest attached to it is a giant plus for students who are low on cash. You will have access to interest free money up to an agreed amount and will only need to start paying fees after you have completed your studies. You are also offered specials and free gifts just because you are a student – how great is that?
Who can get a student account?
All banks differ slightly with their rules and regulations regarding who qualifies for a student account, but the general rule is that if you are any type of full time student you will qualify for a student account. There are some banks that will allow you to open a student account even if you are not a graduate student. You need to make sure that you check with your bank to see if you qualify or not.
What do you need to know when choosing a student account?
How are you going to use your account? If you need a loan over and above your student loan, then you will want to go for an account that offers you an overdraft facility. You are able to get an account with up to three thousand pounds available on overdraft, but do not go for the full amount if you do not need all the cash. Remember that you will eventually have to start paying the interest, so only opt for the amount that you really need.
What happens to your account when you graduate? You need to think about what is going to happen to your account when you have completed your studies – how long is it going to be before you need to start paying the interest back? You need to find out if you get offered any perks when you have graduated and you also need to know that you are not going to be tied to the account after you graduate. You will be able to change accounts later if you find another one that suits you better.
What freebies or gifts are on offer? Many of the banks will offer students free CDs, vouchers and even cash back for opening a student account with them. See what all the banks are offering you before you make a decision. You also need to consider that the free gift may be nice at the time, but there is no point in getting an account that will not suit your needs later on.
Other things you need to take into consideration – it is important that you find out from your bank what other services they offer, like if you get a debit card and where you will be able to use it. Does the account allow you to get a credit card and if so, what are the terms and conditions surrounding the interest and so forth? You must also make sure that there is a branch close to the university that you are attending; do you have access to Internet and telephone banking? These are all important points to consider before choosing an account.