If student life is new to you, then we’ll let you into a little secret. Because you’re a student, you’re eligible for a whole range of little perks designed to make student life easier, more entertaining and considerably cheaper. You’re probably already utilising your student card or NUS Extra Card to the full at popular restaurants, attractions and high street stores but, of course, being smart with money starts at the source.
We’re talking about bank accounts of course. Students may be budget savvy, thrifty and generally enjoy a love/hate relationship with money, but no matter how healthy or lacking your bank balance may be, an account to suit your needs can make all the difference. So with advice from graduates who’ve made it through their student years without squandering all their money, we look at the best student bank accounts available and the features they offer.
If you don’t quite trust yourself to budget early on in your studies then the Natwest overdraft is useful as it allows you to gradually increase your allowance throughout your course to prevent you hitting your limit early on. Of course, you may not feel like you need an overdraft, but many students find it useful as a back-up just in case they’re hit by an unexpected expenditure. The Natwest student account is one of the most popular around as it comes with a Young Person’s Railcard which gives 16-25 year olds ⅓ off rail journeys, a great perk for students looking to explore the UK and visit friends around the country. The Natwest student account additionally allows students to take out a credit card (with a manageable limit) for that extra financial security.
This account is well set up to give students a little helping hand as well as allowing friends and family to quickly and easily transfer money via Pingit. With a generous overdraft of £2,000 this account is suitable for students who are either careful with their money, or actually need the overdraft for their living costs. Always be aware of spending into your overdraft if your spending isn’t justified – remember after graduating it’ll need to be paid off!
While the HSBC student account is fairly typical in the benefits it offers its student customers, HSBC are proud investors in students and consequently offer a bursary competition giving students the chance to win £15,000! HSBC also gives students interest on the first thousand pounds sat in their account so if saving is important to you, this account might offer everything you need.
While this account lacks in unique features, it’s a useful way of banking for students who like to save. Like HSBC, students get interest paid on balances, but only up to £500. While any amount over £500 isn’t eligible for interest, students who may not keep a lot of cash in their current account may appreciate this feature.
Based on the experiences of students and graduates, the Natwest Student Account is generously considered to be one of the most comprehensive options out there for students embarking on their studies. But while Natwest is widely praised, it’s fundamentally about you picking a bank account that’ll suit your lifestyle. If you’d like to study an English language course at New College Manchester and you’re unsure of the finance options open to you when paying your fees, contact our friendly team, we’re always happy to help.