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Top Graduate Bank Accounts 2013/2014

Last updated: 18th January, 2013

Sadly, each and everyone one of us has to leave university and enter the real world at some point. Along with a lot of other responsibilities, comes the end of your student account (which you should have chosen wisely by using our student bank accounts article). At this point it is changed into what is known as a graduate account.

These graduate bank accounts can last up to 3 years but this is a maximum and some end in a year. It is a good idea to use this guide to get the best deal when looking at graduate accounts. Try and remember that it is not always good to be loyal. Shop around to see which graduate bank account suits you the most.

However, be wary as Halifax and Santander do not allow you to take out a graduate account with them unless you previously owned a student account with them.

With most graduate bank accounts you will see your interest free overdraft start to cut down every year. Be wary of this as the charges for not meeting those targets can be scary! If, at any time, you think you are going to go over your 0% overdraft limit it is strongly advised to consult the bank. It could save you about 20% interest.

Most of the accounts will also offer you a graduate loan facility to help you out while you are beginning in your career but it would be best, although they are tempting, to avoid these loans. The banks know you will have to stay with them whilst paying it back and you could be with them for life.

With all of these tips in mind we have come up with this year’s top 3 graduate bank accounts. Also, below this top 3 you will see comparison table of the remaining graduate banks for you to compare them yourself.

#1 Lloyds TSB

The best thing about the Lloyds TSB graduate bank account is that they offer the largest interest free overdraft numbers each year with £1,000 in the 3rd year being one of the largest possible graduate overdrafts. Along with this their charges are near the least expensive end of the spectrum.

To add to these great incentives you also get 0.1% interest on your in credit balance and your 0% overdraft is guaranteed. This guaranteed graduate overdraft is a great help if you are struggling financially.

#2 RBS

The RBS graduate account also matches the overdraft of the Lloyds TSB graduate account and this is why it comes in at number 2 this year. On top of this great overdraft limit it offers a great overdrawn charge and a good graduate loan APR.

The RBS graduate account is also one of the few that offers an added incentive. With the graduate account you can get discounts and card protection through Royalties Membership Service. Although this is not amazing it is a better incentive than nothing. We all like a freebie after all!

#3 Halifax

The Halifax graduate account may seem like a surprise entry into number 3 but there is a reason behind it. Not only does it offer the largest interest free overdraft in the first year but it also has the lowest interest for an agreed overdraft on the account at 7.2% (remember that the values in the table are for an unagreed overdraft).

However, the Halifax graduate account comes with a small warning. Make sure that you pay back all of your £3,000 back in the first year. A good suggestion is to use this account if you are in credit as you can take out the full £3,000 and put it into a savings account.

For a full list of rankings check out our updated graduate bank comparison table below. This table offers extra information on the 8 major bank accounts offered to graduates and you can see which may suit you the most.


RankBankYear 1
(0% OD)
Year 2
(0% OD)
Year 3
(0% OD)
Overdrawn ChargeLoan APR
3Halifax logo Halifax/HBOS£œ3,000œ£0£œ024.2% + œ£28 a monthNA
2RBS logo Royal Bank of Scotland£œ2000£œ1500£œ100017.81% + œ£10 a month9.40%
4Natwest logo Natwestœ£2000œ£1000£œ50017.81%12.90%
1Lloyds TSB logo Lloyds TSB£œ2000£œ1500£œ100016.8% + œ£15 a month9.90%
6Co-op logo Co-Operativeœ£2000£œ0£œ015.90%NA
7Santander logo Santander£œ2000£œ1000£œ50028.7% + œ£25 a month7.50%
8Barclays logo Barclaysœ£3000*£œ2000*£œ1000*£œ22 every 5 days12.90%
5HSBC logo HSBCœ£2000£œ1000£œ50019.90%8.50%

By students

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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