Every student needs money, right? Here are some tips about how to open up and manage a bank account as a student.

Opening up a bank account is completely free and easy to set up. In order to open up a bank account you will need a form of ID, a proof of address (utility bill or a lease agreement for example) and a proof of your student status (a letter of acceptance from your university, or UCAS offer letter).

Try to get the largest student overdraft if possible, money borrowed trough overdraft has 0% interest rate. Not everybody gets a 0% interest overdraft account. For many banks it is only an option for students in their last year of university or if you have a good credit rating. But there are some banks where you can get a 0% interest overdraft even in your first year, when you fulfil some conditions, like making a minimum of transactions or pay a certain amount of money into your account. This account is not for forever, after your graduation you have to change your student account to a current account. Never, ever go over your overdraft limit. It will affect your credit rating and the interest rate is very high and you don’t want more dept besides your student loan, do you? Be sure to inform yourself about the repayment options.

Knowing your credit rating can be really important later on in your future. If you have a good credit rating, it will help you with receiving a mortgage, take a loan or if you want to open up your own business.  But be careful: No credit rating is as bad as having a poor credit rating! How can you improve your credit rating? You could get a credit card but you have to repay everything at the end of the month, so the bank can see that you are responsible with your money. Another possibility is to record your rent payments. It is a great option to boost your credit rating if you always pay your rent on time.  There are some things you should not do while having a credit card. Don’t ever use your credit card on an ATM machine. The interest rates are very high and it shows your bank that you needed quick cash which is not a good sign for them.

Here are some examples for student bank accounts where you will also receive a decent benefit with your bank account:

Benefit Overdraft
Santander 123 Student Account 4yr railcard  + up to 3% In-credit interest Up to £2000 0% overdraft
HSBC Student Bank Account £80 Amazon Gift Card + 1yr Student Prime Up to £3000 0% overdraft
NatWest Student Account 4yr National Express Coachcard Up to £2000 0% overdraft
RBS Student Account 4yr National Express Coachcard Up to £2000 0% overdraft