Bank Charges

Last updated: 7th June, 2012

Student Bank ChargesStudent bank account charges are probably one of the most overlooked things when students are choosing their accounts.

This is because the banks do their best to keep these charges quiet. They do not want you to know what will happen if you go out of your planned overdraft limit.

What’s more, the terms and conditions can be very confusing for most students with many not knowing how to even calculate what they may owe if they go over the arranged 0% overdraft limit.

The confusion is usually caused by the banks themselves because they all charge students in different ways. Some of the banks feel that the best way to charge is a flat rate % but others charge by the day or even by the transaction once you have gone into an unnaranged overdraft.

Be careful: A lot of students are unaware that even though the bank advertises a 0% overdraft you are not guaranteed it (a lot depends on your credit rating which you can check here for free). You actually need to head into the bank to “arrange” your 0% overdraft.

If you take a look at our list of the best student bank accounts then you will realise that we only take a brief look at the charges. This is because the majority of students will avoid them during their time at university. Obviously, they are important but you could argue that going for a larger 0% overdraft would mean that you are more likely to avoid heading into an unarranged overdraft.

Apart from an unarranged overdraft, other charges can be involved such as stopping a cheque, overseas card usage, obtaining a banker’s draft, asking for a printed statement and more). It is important to make sure that you are aware of the charges before opening your account so check the banks T&Cs first.

What do the banks charge for unarranged overdrafts?

Natwest – £6 a day

Halifax – 24.2% + £28 a month

Bank of Scotland – £6 a day

Barclays – £22 every 5 days until credited

Co-op – 9.9%

HSBC – 3% over bank base rate (~4%)

Lloyds TSB – 8.2% + £15 a month

RBS – £6 a day

Santander – £25 a month

As you can see, it can be quite confusing trying to take into account all of these student bank charges and how they may affect you. It can also be hard to compare these charges as they all work in different ways.

The top tip is just to be aware of the charges. If you are someone that tends to be poor with money management then you might want to assume that you will go over the overdraft limit, which could land you in hot water. In this case, make sure you are choosing the bank with the lowest charges so that you don’t get stung.


As always, the student bank account charges are only a small part of all the things that you should consider so make sure that you visit the homepage in order to make a more informed decision.


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Hello! This website has been written by student money experts Save the Student! to give you an overview of student bank accounts and what they have to offer you.

The studentsWe review the benefits and catches of all student accounts so you can make an informed choice and avoid the traps!

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