You're a student - you need a student bank account!
It's one of the perks of being a student. The banks will be falling over themselves to get you as a customer, and that means special incentives and bonuses aimed at students that will make your financial life that little bit easier.
But don't go rushing in as you'll find the offers vary wildly from bank to bank. Don't just go for the first offer you see, while one might be offering a few shiny toys, you may find the interest rate or overdraft offered by another makes up for the gifts.
Most ATMs in the UK offer free withdrawals, however if they are going to charge you they will always notify you on the screen before processing your withdrawal. The University has free ATM machines on our Craiglockhart, Merchiston and Sighthill campuses.
A bit of research will help you discover the account that's right for you. While you're at it, check out their staff as well. It'll be a great help if they have someone on hand who specialises in student accounts, and knows just what issues you're facing when it comes to handling your money.
Here's what to ask
- Does this bank have a branch near my campus, my home and term time address?
- Does it have staff who are familiar with student accounts?
- Does it offer value for money in its incentives and special banking facilities?
If you're an international student, then you might want to find out about how to access your money at home as well as in the UK. Make sure you check out our full guide to UK banking for international students.
Don't overdo the overdraft!
All major banks and some building societies offer overdraft facilities with student accounts. However, you'll find it's not automatic as even though most banks promote their free overdrafts, these usually have to be requested before being used. On top of that, the level of free overdrafts varies considerably between the high street banks.
Make sure you ask about the bank's policy on charges and overdrafts because if you have an unauthorised overdraft, ie you were overdrawn without the agreement of the bank, you will probably incur a penalty charge and a higher rate of interest on your overdraft balance. This can be avoided if you know your bank's policies and try to stick within your budget.
Be aware that banks are out to make money too. In general they only offer short term funding for students, and remember that any overdraft you build up has to be paid back at some point.
Edinburgh Napier is a member of the Santander Universities network, which offers some exclusive products to partner universities. These are sold exclusively through Santander Universities' branch at Potterow in Edinburgh.
If you would like to find out more please contact Bhav Joshion Bhavika.Joshi@santander.co.uk.