Open the right bank account for you
Everything you need to know about student bank accounts.
Whether you're a first-time account opener or in need of a student-specific account, it's always good to have a grasp of the basics before diving in. In this article, we've gathered all the essential info you'll require, including necessary documents and our recommendations for the best bank accounts with top benefits.
Why open a student account?
To smoothly manage your everyday expenses and receive your maintenance loan from student finance, it's crucial to have an account tailored to your student life. Student accounts are designed for this purpose and offer you the most relevant advantages. For instance, most student accounts come with an interest-free overdraft, so you won't need to stress about those months when you dip into your overdraft. Typically, you'll open a student account right before heading off to university, but you can switch to one at any point.
What documents do I need to open an account?
In the UK, you'll need a few key documents to successfully open your new account. While some banks might request additional paperwork, here are the three essentials:
- A photo ID confirming you are 18 years or older (like a passport, driver's license, or EU ID card).
- Proof of your current residential address (e.g., a utility bill, bank statement, or tax documentation).
- Evidence of your student status (a letter of acceptance from Queen Mary or a UCAS offer). We've got a guide on how to obtain the necessary evidence from Queen Mary
Can I open the account online?
Yes, you have the flexibility to choose between doing it in person or online. Pick the option that suits you best. Many banks have simplified their websites to make the application process as straightforward as possible. Some even allow you to verify your identity by recording a short video and uploading a photo of your passport. Whether you go with the online or in-person route, make sure you have the correct documentation (as listed above), and you'll be on the right track.
Recommended student bank accounts
While most banks offer student accounts, only a select few provide what we'd call top-notch benefits. Here are our top picks for the academic year 2023/24 (note: all of these options come with 0% interest rate overdrafts):
- NatWest - Offers £100 cash, a 4-year tastecard, and an overdraft of up to £2,000 (with £500 available in your first term).
- Santander - Provides a 4-year 16-25 Railcard and an overdraft of up to £2,000.
- Nationwide - Presents £100 cash and an overdraft of up to £3,000.
- HSBC - Offers £100 cash, a 1-year subscription to Headspace, and an overdraft of up to £3,000.
Now you've got all the info you need to open the perfect student account for you. For more handy tips and advice, check out our wellbeing page for a range of articles on various topics.
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