Student Bank account

We put together the best student’s bank accounts to start with. 

about student bank account

What is a student bank account?
  • A student bank account is a type of bank account offered only to higher education.   They let you pay money in and out, and offer additional benefits such as an interest-free overdraft.
  • They generally offer benefits designed to help people in full-time education, taking into account that you’re unlikely to be working full-time or regularly earning a wage.

Main Requirement for a student bank account

  • One or two forms of photo ID: such as a passport, driver’s licence or ID card
  • Proof of address: such as a recent utility bill or bank statement
  • Proof of student status: For you to  be accepted you’ll need a University and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) confirmation letter with an unconditional offer or, if your offer’s conditional, A-Level results that meet that condition, or a letter from the university you’ll be attending confirming your place. As soon as you’ve got these, you can open an account, allowing you extra time to make full use of its benefits before the start of term. 

Tips for picking the best Bank

Before choosing your student bank account, it’s important to know what the bank offers and and remember to take into account their policy.

Before creating a bank account, it is important to take in to consideration the following:

The most important factor to consider is which bank will give you the biggest and longest 0% overdraft facility.

All student accounts provide an overdraft if required – this means you can withdraw more money than you actually have, i.e. borrow it. To ensure you are borrowing as cheaply as possible, choose the account that has the lowest interest rate available. This is because the lower the rate is, the less your debt will cost you.

As long as you stay within your overdraft limit, you can safely borrow money interest free – this is why you should check to see which bank offers the most 0% borrowing for the longest period of time.

However, overdrafts still have their disadvantages if you’re not careful with your spending, so be aware of the following:

The advertised student 0% interest overdraft is often the maximum they offer (hence the “up to” wording).

For many banks, this amount is only available in your final year at university and only to students with a decent credit rating.

If you do this, your cost will go through the roof, as you will incur interest and penalties.

Whilst you may be able to reclaim any bank charges for overdrawing, it’s not usually easy. So always talk to your bank first, as a mistake on your part could lead to credit rating problems in the future.

Although you may not be paying interest on anything you are borrowing, you still have to repay everything you borrow once you finish university.

Only borrow the necessary amount and not any more, as you will have to pay for these debts when you graduate. So take the time to budget your money carefully, and avoid spending more than you need to.

Sure, you probably won’t have to repay your overdraft until after you graduate, but the sudden demand for £3,000 could be quite a shock!

So don’t treat it as free money and plan ahead, which starts with understanding the conditions.

Student account overdrafts are a form of borrowing, so you’ll be credit scored when applying.

The quality of your score can determine how much overdraft you’ll be offered.

You can raise your chances of approval by knowing your own credit score and taking action to improve it.

These should only be considered second to the overdraft facility available, though can be a deciding factor if two or more banks are offering similar overdrafts.

Keep in mind that banks are only offering these gimmicks because they believe that most customers won’t bother switching accounts once they have signed up, and so a few pounds of freebies will guarantee them your business for your whole life.

However, once you’ve taken advantage of their free stuff, remember to switch to a graduate account.

Most banks require you to deposit your student loan or source of main income in their account, so the chance of opening multiple student accounts to grab all the freebies is somewhat limited.

Best student bank accounts for 2021

Nationwide FlexStudent

Flexible interest-free and fee-free arranged overdraft

  • First Year; nationwide start you off with an arranged overdraft limit of £1,000.
  • Second Year;

    In your second year, you can request an increase to £2,000.

  • Third Year; In your third year, you can request an increase to £3,000.

FlexStudent Arrange Overdraft Representative Example;

0% APR representative (variable). Based on an assumed arranged limit of £1,200 and an interest rate of 0% a year

Santander

  • A free 4-year Santander 16-25 Railcard to save 1/3 on rail travel in Great Britain
  • An interest-free arranged overdraft of £1,500 in years 1-3, £1,800 in year 4 and £2,000 if you stay on to year 5

There’s no monthly fee to maintain the account.

Arranged overdraft interest and charges – Representative 0% (variable)

Unarranged overdraft interest and charges – Representative 0% (variable)

HSBC Student Bank Account

  • A £1,000 interest-free arranged overdraft
    HSBC start you off with a guaranteed interest-free limit of £1,000 in your first year, which could rise to £3,000 by year three.
  • 0% EAR (variable), giving a representative rate of 0% APR (variable). Based on an assumed arranged limit of £1,200.
    Easy online and mobile banking
    From checking your balance to paying your bills, you can do it all – quickly and easily – with our online banking or mobile app.

Barclays Student Additions Account

If you’re a UK student, you don’t need to pay interest on arranged overdrafts up to £3,000. 

Maximum interest free arranged overdraft limits

  • Account opening and during your first term – up to £500 
  • Year 1 – up to £1,000
  • Year 2 – up to £2,000
  • Year 3 and beyond – up to £3,000

Maximum arranged overdraft amount may be different than the amounts shown above (subject to application, financial circumstances, borrowing history and lending criteria).

Arranged overdrafts are repayable on demand. Interest charges are variable. 

NatWest Student Current Account

Interest-free overdraft up to £2000 (£500 in first term) with an instant online decision

Choose 1 from 3 great offers; Amazon Prime Student membership, National Express Coachcard or a tastecard

Can’t find your card? Temporarily lock it while you look, and if you find it, instantly unlock your card

Withdraw up to £130 without your card every 24 hours at our ATMs (as long as it’s within your daily withdrawal limit, criteria applies)

Britain’s Best Online Student Banking Provider ‘YourMoney.com Awards’ 2019

No monthly fee

Student Current Account

Arranged overdraft

Being a student often means living on a tight budget.

With our Student Account, you can apply for an interest-free tiered arranged overdraft of up to £1,500 in Years 1 to 3 and up to £2,000 in years 4 to 6. You’ll need to be 18 years old to apply for an overdraft.

All overdrafts are subject to our assessment of your circumstances and are repayable on demand.

Free everyday banking

Stay in credit and you won’t have to pay monthly fees.Convenient payments with a contactless debit card (if you’re aged 18 or over), Apple Pay and Android Pay.

RBS Student Bank Account

Interest-free overdraft up to £2000 (£500 in first term) 

Choose 1 from 3 great offers; Amazon Prime Student membership, National Express Coachcard or a tastecard

Can’t find your card? Temporarily lock it while you look, and if you find it, instantly unlock your card

Withdraw up to £130 without your card every 24 hours at our ATMs (as long as it’s within your daily withdrawal limit, criteria applies)

No monthly fee

Overdraft details: You need to be 18+ and have lived in the UK for 3+ years to apply for an Overdraft. 

Halifax Student Current Account

  • An interest-free arranged overdraft up to £1,500 for the length of your course. Plus an extra year after you graduate, up to a maximum of 6 years in total. (Overdrafts are repayable on demand and subject to status)
  • Earn up to 15% cashback when you spend using your debit card. Just register for Online Banking and activate Cashback Extras. Merchant offers and cashback amounts vary
  • contactless Visa debit card
  • No monthly fee for maintaining the account
  • Credit interest on any credit balance 0.10% AER (0.10% gross) variable. Interest is paid monthly

TSB Student Account

  • * Receive 5% AER/4.89% gross variable interest on balances up to £500, paid by the 10th working day of each month
  • Optional interest-free overdraft up to £1,500 to help you budget during your studies. Your overdraft starts at £500 for the first six months, then you can apply to increase it to £1,000 in months seven to nine, and up to £1,500 from month ten. Subject to application, approval and repayable on demand.
  • To help spread the cost of large outgoings, such as new books, you can apply for a Student Credit Card
  • The Student account is covered by the TSB Fraud Refund Guarantee (Conditions apply).
  • Apple Pay and Google Pay are available with this account.
  • Manage your current account online with our mobile app and Internet Banking