Tuesday, 22 August 2017 16:20

Choosing a student bank account

It’s A level day for thousands of students up and down the United Kingdom (or should that be D-day!) and many people will be finding out whether or not they have got the appropriate grades to study at their chosen university.

For the majority, tonight will be a night for celebrating and getting together with loved ones to share the good news, however for some, it will be a time for commiserations and rethinking which direction they want to take as their grades won’t be the ones that were hoped for.

People who find themselves in the latter scenario shouldn’t be downbeat, though, as there are plenty of other options and avenues that can be opened up.

The first one is clearing. Students who have applied for a particular university but who haven’t quite ‘made the grade’ so to speak, will be put into a ‘holding’ pool and if there are any places left, they will then select the ones who were closest to making it into that particular University. Basically, even for people who haven’t got the required grades, there is still the chance that they will manage to get in, so they shouldn’t be downbeat.

For the people who have exceeded expectations and are off to university, however, once the celebrating is over and done with, the real-life aspects of university will quickly have to kick in and preparations will need to be made for the next big chapter. One of the first things on many people’s agendas will be sorting out student finance, and consequently, a student friendly bank account in which the money can be deposited.

Students are warned not to just go for bank accounts that have freebies that lure in freshers, as a lot of the time when you delve into what they are offering, they don’t actually benefit the student at all.

People are urged to look into the very details of each bank account and figure out what is going to be the best for them in the long term and ignore any short-term lucrative freebies as this will not help them in the grand scheme of things.

One of the biggest traps that students in particular fall into, are cashback schemes and the offer of vouchers to spend in their favourite stores when they sign up to a bank account. These accounts probably won’t be the best for your situation (and the banks know this) but hope that you will fall into their clutches because of their ‘materialistic’ offers of cashback and vouchers to spend.

Students should have a bit of nous about them and prioritise things like overdraft limits, charges and fees etc.

It also used to be that the amount of local branches a bank boasted was a big factor in deciding what bank account to go with – this isn’t such a big deal nowadays as people have access to internet banking and smart phones boast banking apps whereby people can manage and check on their accounts at the touch of a button, wherever they are.

In our opinion, though, it is still very much advantageous to have a local branch close-by. Sometimes there are things that crop up with your account whereby you need to speak with someone in person to get to the bottom of things.

From a student point of view there are a few things that a bank account should have and students must make the following a priority.

A good overdraft facility is paramount to students. This is not to say that students should use it as a way to spend recklessly, but instead, the account should have an overdraft facility whereby there are no additional fees and unnecessary and unusable limits put in place.

The thing is with students, there will be cash flow issues from time to time as university life is renowned for being the hardest time in a person’s life with regards to money woes. Money is tight, it is hard to keep abreast of and there is a lot of expense, so it is only natural that an overdraft facility would be useful.

Students should also go for an account with a good interest rate and also look into whether there are any one-off cash payments for signing up. As previously said, a student should never sign up to a bank account purely because of a one-off cash payment. The cash payment should only be seen as an advantage if the overdraft facility and the interest offered is also a top-notch deal.

As well as lucrative offers, students also need to do a bit of research with regards to safety features and customer service reputations when choosing a bank account.

For instance, even though most people assume that all banking apps and online banking facilities have the same kind of guidelines and security in place, some banks are actually better than others when it comes to protecting your details.

All banking facilities have good security levels and it is quite rare in the grand scheme of things that someone is the victim of fraud through using these technologies; some banks, however, have not just got good security, they have outstanding security in place,  and these need sourcing so you know your money is as protected as it possibly can be. 

Students need to get online and look at reviews for student bank accounts, they need to listen to the very people that were in their shoes only 12 months ago and find out what banks gave them the best deals and what banks, importantly, haven’t been any hassle for them.

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