Student finance: Which banks cater for students?

Sometimes having a lot of choice can be overwhelming, but knowing what's out there is half the battle

With so many options for student banking, how do you know which one is the solution to your financial worries as you plan your time at university?

When you go to university, your financial needs change as you become more independent from your family. Many students find themselves requiring overdrafts and special student-orientated services. Banks love having students as customers, as they are likely to stay with them after they graduate – so the good news is that there is a whole host of great deals for students. The bad news is the competition means it’s trickier to figure out exactly which bank is for you. We’ve found out what some of the most popular banks in the UK have to offer students…

HSBC Student Account

Guaranteed overdraft: £500 in the first year
Potential overdraft: Up to £3,000 in total
Internet banking: Yes
In-credit interest paid? Yes - the first £1,000 in your Student Bank Account will earn interest at 1.5% AER/gross above base rate
Overdraft arrangement fees: None!
Extras: 25% off Lonely Planet travel guides
Find out more: 08456 040 626 or visit the website

Royal Bank of Scotland Student Account

Guaranteed overdraft: No guarantees, but usually £500 in first term, £750 in second and £1,000 in the third term of your first year.
Potential overdraft: Up to £1,000 in your first year; £1,250 in your second; £1,500 in your third; £1,750 in your fourth; £2,000 in your fifth year.
Internet banking: Yes
In-credit interest paid? No
Overdraft arrangement fees: None! But on the condition that the account is your main one – this is defined as depositing £750 every 6 months and making at least 3 debit transactions every month
Extras: Emergency cash available if you lose your card - £300 for those who use internet or phone banking, and £60 for those that don’t – provided you have at least £25 in the account
Find out more: 0808 100 0148 or visit the website

Lloyds TSB Student Account

Guaranteed overdraft: £500 for the first six months
Potential overdraft: Up to £1,500 in your first year.
Internet banking:
In-credit interest paid?
Overdraft arrangement fees:
Extras: £75 off a holiday booking with STA Travel and a free NUS extra card for three years
Find out more: 0845 3 000 000 or visit the website

Halifax Student Account

Guaranteed overdraft: All students accepted into the account will get a guaranteed £1000 overdraft from day one.
Potential overdraft: The maximum fee free overdraft is £3,000 (this can be from day one). Larger overdrafts are rare but available - but are not fee free.
Is Internet banking included? Yes
In-credit interest paid? Yes - 0.1%
Overdraft arrangement fees, if any: Up to £3,000 planned overdraft is fee free.
Extras: None, but they provide the largest guaranteed overdraft in the market, and the largest fee free overdraft.
Find out more: Pop into your local branch or visit the website

Natwest

Guaranteed overdraft: Not guaranteed but students usually get £500 for first term, £750 for second term and £1,000 in the third term.
Potential overdraft: £1,500 in third year, up to £2,000 in fifth year
Is Internet banking included? Yes
In-credit interest paid? No
Overdraft arrangement fees, if any: None
Extras: Free 4 year 16-25 railcard
Find out more: Visit your local branch or visit the website

Santander

Guaranteed overdraft: £250 until you put £500 in, then £1,500
Potential overdraft: Up to £2,000
Is Internet banking included? Yes
In-credit interest paid? 1.00% AER (variable) interest paid on balances up to £500
Overdraft arrangement fees, if any:  None
Extras: £50 if you open your account between 1 July and 30 November 2012
Find out more: Visit your local branch or
visit the website

Co-Op

Guaranteed overdraft: £1,400 once you’ve credited the account with £300
Potential overdraft: Up to £2,000 in year three
Is Internet banking included? Yes
In-credit interest paid? No
Overdraft arrangement fees, if any: None
Extras: None
Find out more: 08448 448 887 or visit the website

Smile

Guaranteed overdraft: £1,400 once you’ve credited the account with £300
Potential overdraft: Up to £2,000
Is Internet banking included? Yes
In-credit interest paid? No
Overdraft arrangement fees, if any: None
Extras: None
Find out more: visit the website

Information correct at the time of publishing – please contact individual banks for up-to-date details.

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