Going away to uni is a stressful time – you’re thinking about living in a new city or town, meeting new people and making friends, but you also have all of the new financial responsibilities to think about too such as paying bills and managing your own budgets. 

Many banks offer student bank accounts which come with a range of benefits for the time you are studying, making that introduction to managing your finances independently, that little bit easier. We’ve had a look at the main high street banks and found the best student bank accounts for 2019. 

Natwest/RBS Student

The good thing about this bank account is that the minimum age is actually 17, therefore meaning that you can establish it whilst you’re still at college/sixth form and by the time you go to uni, you’ll be familiar with how it all works. They also offer a flat £2,000 interest free overdraft for up to 4 years, meaning it won’t change over the period of your studies. You can also get an Amazon Prime student membership as an added bonus. 

Barclays Student Additions

Barclays student bank account has the highest interest free overdraft amount for students of any high street bank, offering £3,000 from the first year, however they do only offer it for three years, not four. Their benefits include a personalised debit card, and a range of cashback offers from retailers. This bank account could be most useful if you’re moving to a large city where the cost of living is high. 

Lloyds Bank Student

Lloyds student bank account is a bit of a blanket account in that it offers a number of perks rather than just one or two. You can get an account from age 17 (although you have to be 18 to apply for the overdraft) which as we’ve said above is good to be able to apply for and sort whilst you’re still at home. The overdraft amount also starts small, £1,500 over the first three years, rising to £2000 in the fourth year – this would be particularly appealing to those who want to avoid incurring a large overdraft amount. They also offer a free NUS extra card – perfect for getting added discounts and benefits from other retailers. 

Remember – It’s usually a good idea to go for the highest overdraft amount you can – 0% interest overdrafts are unique to student accounts so you might as well take advantage whilst they’re on offer, but don’t forget that if you go over your limit, you will be charged and the money will need to be repaid when you graduate.

Many banks offer a graduate bank account option so that you can arrange ways to repay the overdraft over a specific period. This means that you won’t suddenly be surprised by your bank asking you to repay £3000 at once. Four years sounds like a long time in the future, but it’s a good idea to plan for it now and explore what the repayment options are when you do graduate.  

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