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What to look for in a student bank account

student bank accountsIf you’re heading off to university this year – or you’re already there – the chances are, you’re going to need a student bank account.

Finding the ‘right’ student bank account isn’t as easy as it may seem, though… simply because there are so many to choose from.

So, to make finding the best student bank account for you that little bit easier, we’re going to take you through some of the things you should look for when it comes to making your mind up.

A debit/cash card

Many students have to fight for themselves for the first time when they go to Univeristy. This means you’ll be doing all your own shopping (for essentials such as food) on a weekly/monthly basis.

You can pay for this shopping using cash, but it’s often more convenient to use a debit/cash card to make your purchases. For that reason, you’ll probably want to look for a student bank account that comes with a debit/cash card.

What’s more – if you make your purchases using a debit card, you won’t be carrying as much cash around with you all the time… something which can make non-essential spending that bit more tempting!

Although, don’t get too carried away with flashing the plastic! Sometimes it’s easier to spend money on your card as opposed to cash and you could see your student bank account balance dwindling.

Standing order/Direct Debit facility

Unfortunately, you’ll need to pay some bills while living in rented accommodation as well as other payments such as mobile contracts. You can make one-off payments to clear these bills each month, but it’s generally easier to set up a Direct Debit or standing order to automatically settle the balance.

For that reason, you should try and find a student bank account that offers you the option to set up Direct Debits and/or standing orders.

Interest-free overdraft facility

It’s likely that you’ll come up against some unexpected costs while studying – or you may simply find yourself running out of money before ‘payday’ or ‘student loan day’ comes around. That’s where an interest-free overdraft can come in handy.

Assuming you’re in part-time employment while studying, an interest-free overdraft can provide you with the money you need to cover your costs if you don’t have enough in your account before payday. Once payday comes around, it’s just a case of repaying your overdraft.

Just bear in mind that an overdraft is a debt that’ll have to be repaid – and it’s unlikely to remain interest-free for long once you’ve left university.

Alternatives to student bank accounts

There are plenty of bank accounts and alternatives to bank accounts available to students that aren’t necessarily designed just for students. For example, the thinkmoney Personal Account could be useful for students looking for help budgeting each month, with a personalised budgeting service being just one of the many features of the account. There is a monthly management fee (£14.50) for this account, so it’s important to take a good look at the account’s benefits before you commit yourself, including Direct Debits and a thinkmoney Debit MasterCard. See here for more info: http://www.thinkmoney.co.uk/account/how-account-works/.

If you’re unsure as to which student bank account to go for, this guide should have given you some useful pointers. If you would like a bit more help choosing, then make sure you have checked out our main article along with a student bank account comparison.

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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