9 Upgrading your bank account
When you’ve been accepted on to a college or university course and have the documentation to prove it, take time to check out which bank offers the best student account. A student account is simply a bank account for someone who is a student.
Be prepared to switch to a new student account if your existing bank account provider does not match the best deal around.
Banks do compete keenly for student business. Their logic is that as future graduates and future high earners, today’s students will be tomorrow’s active customers who will do plenty of business with financial institutions.
The carrots that banks dangle in front of students could include:
- interest-free (0%) overdrafts (subject to a time limit for being overdrawn)
- free railcards
- discounts on rail, other travel and other goods and services
- vouchers for book purchases.
You can switch to a student account even if you’ve already been a student for some time. And, as is normal each time you open an account with a financial institution, you will need to provide proof of your identity (such as passport, birth certificate or driving licence) and address (such as utility bill or credit card statement).
Note, though, that you will be credit scored by the bank you apply to for your student account. If you’re rejected on the basis of your credit score it’s important that you access your credit file to find out the reason. As you explored in Session 1, understanding and managing your credit rating is something you need to be mindful of throughout your life.