Written by Beth Cordon
BSc (Hons) Adult Nursing
Choosing the right student bank account is important when coming to university, and there are lots of banks with lots of good offers out there to choose from!
When I started university in 2014 I looked around several banks before choosing my account. Most banks will offer special perks or free gifts to get you to choose them to bank with during your time at university, which is another big player in choosing who you go with! I went for Santander as they offered a free four year 16-25 railcard meaning I save 1/3 on my train journeys. Other banks offer perks such as Amazon vouchers which can be useful for buying course books or materials, or a nice treat for yourself before university starts. There are lots of different bank branches located in Bournemouth and Poole’s town centres and there is also a Santander branch located on our Talbot campus.
You also need to look into and consider the overdraft that the bank is offering, but you need to know that it is NOT FREE MONEY! I know people who came to university thinking the money in their overdraft had been given to them for free, but it’s for EMERGENCIES! However, an overdraft would be useful in emergencies such as needing money to tide you over until the next loan payment, just priorities paying it back when you get your money from SFE (Student Finance England)!
If you’re already with a bank they are likely to try and persuade you to stay with them for your student bank account, but you don’t have to. If you find a different company who offer you better rewards and interest then you should go with who you think is best, rather than being persuaded to stick with who you are already with. But it is important to remember not to base your choice of bank account on the freebies they offer, as they may not be the best bank long term even if they do entice you with an exciting reward for signing up!
If this is the first time of choosing a bank account and moving out of home, I would suggest speaking to your parents, older siblings, or anyone who you feel would be able to help you and give you unbiased advice that you may not be able to seek from the banks as they are trying to sign you up. Be wise and make sure you understand the repayments if you do use the overdraft and *top tip* get the account set up in time for starting university!
By Beth Cordon