If you are a student or have recently graduated, then there a large number of bank accounts and financial products designed specifically for you. Although students used to be much derided for the large government grants they received, those days are long gone and students today have to be financially astute in order to avoid large debts. If you are a student or recent graduate then here are some tips about the types of accounts to look for.
Why so many student accounts?
Student and graduate accounts are more and more common, and they usually have a wide range of features and good rates. Although students are generally fairly poor and cannot pay back money they borrow, banks want to offer these accounts to students in the hope that they will remain loyal to their company once they are earning good money.
When you go to university you might have a simple current account, but the best thing to do is to open a dedicated student account. Student accounts offer a wide range of benefits, including vouchers and discounts for clothing and record shops. However, the most important part of your student account is the interest-free overdraft
When you are at university it is likely that at some point you are going to need an overdraft facility to handle the fees whilst not bringing in a lot of money. Therefore it is essential that you pick an account with a good interest-free overdraft limit. Try and find the bank that has the highest level of interest-free overdraft, because any unauthorised borrowing will cost you a lot of money.
Although the overdraft limit is important, you should look at the overall account package. Look at other fees and charges that the bank applies to your account, as well as the extra benefits on offer. Some student accounts will offer students a credit card with their account amongst other benefits. Try and find the best overall account package for your needs.
In addition to the account benefits, you need to make sure that the student account you choose has dedicated support, as this can help you when times are tough. An even better option is a bank that has a branch on your campus, because a dedicated student bank manager is more likely to be sympathetic to your financial difficulties. Online banking is also something to look out for, as this can help you move funds and pay bills quickly when you need to, as well as helping you to closely monitor your spending.
Once you have finished university, many banks will offer you an upgrade to a graduate account. It is worth looking at these when you get your student account, as the right student and graduate package can really help you to move smoothly from student to worker. Whatever package you choose, don’t be afraid to move accounts and banks, and shop around before you make any decision.