Looking to open a student bank account?
But, aren’t entirely sure of which bank to choose and what sort of account would be optimal to your needs.
It can be nightmarish out there when trying to find the best student bank account.
Basic check accounts, savings accounts, interest-bearing check accounts, recurring deposit accounts, fixed deposit accounts, it’s a minefield.
It doesn’t have to be such an ordeal, however.
Finding a bank account that suits a student’s lifestyle and financial position isn’t as hard as you might think.
We’ll run you through everything you need to know when hunting for the best student bank account.
And get you well on your way to saving as much as you possibly can as a student.
Read on to find out how.
What Are The Benefits Of A Student Bank Account?
First of all, let’s take a look at why it’s a great idea, as a UK student, to open yourself a student bank account.
A student bank account is designed exclusively for university students.
So, basically, they are based around a bank’s basic account, however, these types of accounts often do away with many of the fees that basic accounts are subject to.
Often student bank accounts are free of overdraft fees, overdraft interest, and monthly bank account fees.
Opening a student bank account is fairly simple. You just need to prove your student status to the bank you are applying to.
However, something you do need to be aware of when applying for an account is banks will often throw in freebies to catch your attention. Beware of these freebies, as a £20 gift now is pitiful in comparison to a large interest-free overdraft for the 3 or more years you are studying.
It pays then to be smart about who you choose to bank with.
Don’t be won over by sales pitches and cheap gimmicks, instead, choose your bank on the interest and the lack of fees they will offer you.
What Do You Need To Open A Student Bank Account?
Luckily not a whole lot. UK students generally only have to produce the following documentation when applying for a student bank account:
- 1 or 2 copies of your photo ID: such as a current driver license or passport.
- Proof of address: like a recent bank statement or utility bill.
- Proof of student status: a simple letter of acceptance, UCAS offer letter, or curriculum outline from your university should be sufficient.
Most banks in the UK will now allow you to apply online for a student bank account. Although, you are likely required to send the above documentation by mail to your local bank branch.
While other banks will require to see the original documentation, so you may also have to make a trip to down to your local branch in order for them to verify the documents in person.
Which Bank Is Best For International Students In UK?
If you’re already studying in the UK as an international student or are planning to do so, unfortunately, you won’t be eligible for an overdraft and a lot of the other benefits that come with a student bank account.
That being said, banking in the UK as an international student is normally fairly easy and there’s a decent amount of bank account choices on offer for international UK students.
There are some variances depending on your personal circumstances. Your options will differ depending on how long you are planning to study in the UK and whether or not you reside in an EU country.
Many banks operate as global corporations so a good thing to think about is opening an account, if you haven’t already, with a bank that does business in the country you reside in and also operates in the UK as well.
This will not only make it easier for you to open an account with a branch when you arrive in the UK but it may also reduce your fees. Some international banks will offer lower fees to customers that are already currently banking with them elsewhere.
But, what about international bank transfers?
This is a big one of international students, international bank fees.
If you are planning on sending or receiving money to and from home, it’s a good idea to get a gauge on exactly the amount or percentage that a bank will charge for overseas transfers.
International fees can add up quickly. Make sure then to hunt around for the lowest fees.
What is required to open an international student bank account?
The documentation for international students is fairly similar to domestic students, with only a few additions:
- A current passport is required.
- A valid student visa (for those students residing outside of the EU).
- A bank statement from home that covers the previous 3 months.
- A copy of a student ID card, university acceptance letter, or course curriculum.
- And the proof of your address within the UK, the documentation to prove this varies between banks so check with them first about what you need to provide.
Banks love students. They view students as investing in themselves. Gaining higher education to one day earn a higher than average wage.
Banks, therefore, go to great lengths to earn your business.
They do this to secure your trust so later down the track, once you’ve finished your study and are earning better money, you will continue to bank and invest with them.
And this is great news for you.
It means that you can take complete advantage of their big incentives now and make the most out of a student budget.
Remember to shop around and see what’s out there. Read the fine print to find the best deals and lowest fees and avoid falling for their cheap freebies and sales gimmicks.
Being a student isn’t always easy.
Exams are stressful, keeping up with your university courses takes dedication, and working a job around a university schedule is tough. It’s hard enough without having to worry about money being tight.
Finding a suitable student bank account is a good step in the right direction when living on a student budget but there are other steps you can take to make it even easier.
This is where a budgeting app such as Emma can really help you out. Emma is a super easy to use money management app.
Emma believes that everyone should have the ability to save and live on any budget. She will help you avoid any unnecessary banking fees, highlights areas of improvement to further save money, and help you control your finances in an easy and productive manner
Take the stress out of student life and let Emma do the heavy lifting.