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Our guide to student bank accounts

Published 2 October 2015 by

There’s lots to think about before heading off to university – sorting out your accommodation, familiarising yourself with the campus and transporting all of your worldly possessions down to your new room. But there’s one more thing that you should add to your list, doing a bit of research on student bank accounts and what they can offer you. Not got the time? Don’t worry – our guide will walk you through everything you need to know.

What is a student account?

Student bank accounts are exactly what they say they are – bank accounts geared towards university students. They work just like any other bank account but tend to offer additional benefits as incentives. To demonstrate, some of the student accounts available on the high-street at the moment offer free railcards, coachcards, gift certificates and vouchers. Other banks will try to entice students by paying credit interest.

But don’t let these add-ons blur your perspective when trying to find a student account for you, think more about the type of spender you are. If you tend to spend more on clothes and want to travel back home every other weekend, then it could be worth taking advantage of some of the shopping or travel incentives that are available with certain accounts.

Alternatively, if you’re a dab-hand with a budget and more of a saver, then it may be worth looking at which banks offer you the highest credit interest. Look as well at how much you can go overdrawn without having to pay a fee. Bear in mind though that you can be credit checked with these types of accounts, so you might not always get the maximum overdraft on offer. While you’re at university (and this is good advice to remember for your life in general) try not to go over your overdraft limit, as you’ll be hit with additional charges – and these can be up to £25 per transaction.

Something else to consider is how and when you’ll use the account. If a bank account comes with an easy-to-use mobile app or internet banking service, it can make checking your balance much easier while you’re out and about. You may even want to see whether the debit card that comes with the account has contactless payments, if this is something you’d prefer.

thinkmoney Personal Account

If you’re looking for an account to help you budget while you’re living independently for the first time, then the thinkmoney Personal Account could be an option for you. Although the thinkmoney Personal Account is not a student account, it is a good alternative to other basic bank accounts on the high street if you’ll be earning a regular income while you’re at university.

The account is separated into two accounts, so when you receive an income, some will be held in the Salaries Account to cover the monthly commitments and bills that you have. Whatever’s leftover after this will be put into the Card Account for you to spend as you like – so you’ll be able to spend this without a guilty conscience!

There is a monthly management fee of £17.50 with the account and as the thinkmoney Personal Account doesn’t come with an overdraft facility you won’t have to worry about any overdraft fees either. You’ll be able to check your account whilst on the go thanks to Online Account Management and we have an app coming very soon!

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