At some point, you might realise your student bank account isn’t doing what you want it to.

And you might think about looking for something more. Something better.

Let’s break down what you need to know about switching student bank accounts, covering:


  • Why you might consider switching your bank account as a student
  • Working out if you can switch bank accounts
  • How to switch bank accounts
  • Common questions about switching


Why it might be worth switching student bank accounts

There are a few reasons it might be worth switching student bank accounts:


Money, vouchers or other benefits for switching

This could be cash added to your account, vouchers to use in particular shops or something else.

Sometimes these are specifically for students who switch, or you might just realise that another student bank account is offering better benefits for what you want and need.


Better overdraft

If you don’t already have an interest-free overdraft, you might want to switch to an account that offers one.

Or you might look for a bigger overdraft, so you’ve got more of a safety net.


Lower fees

If you’re currently with an account that charges fees, you might look for one that doesn’t charge fees.


Type of bank

Maybe you want a bank that has branches, rather than a digital-only bank. Or you want a bank with better customer service. Or you don’t want a paper-free account and instead want to get bank statements in the post. 

Can I switch student bank accounts?

You might be able to switch your student bank account if you sign up to one and aren’t happy with it.

However, some accounts are only open to first-year students, so you may not be able to switch to certain accounts after your first year of study.

For example, you can’t switch to the HSBC or Nationwide student bank accounts from other student accounts - but you can switch to the Santander, NatWest or RBS accounts, under certain conditions (usually, one of these conditions is that you have at least two years left of your studies).

You might also need to already have a student account, as some banks won’t let you switch from a regular current account to a student one.

Check the specific account requirements to make sure you can make the switch.


How to switch bank accounts

Luckily, switching bank accounts has been made easy with the Current Account Switch Service.

It’ll save you lots of time and stress, making it easy for you to change to a bank account that better suits your wants and needs. 🏦


Benefits of the Current Account Switch Service

  • You won’t have to manually switch anything over using this service or have to worry about closing your old account - this’ll all be taken care of for you.
  • All existing Direct Debits and standing orders should automatically be switched over from your old to your new account - meaning the monthly payments you’ve previously set up should continue to be sent from the new account. (Learn about different types of payments, including Direct Debits and standing orders.)
  • Your existing balance in your old account will also be switched over to your new account.
  • You won’t miss out on any money coming into your account as this’ll also be redirected to your new account, including salaries and money sent from family.
  • Plus, for a set time, anyone who sends money to the old account details will be contacted and given your new account details.
  • Any details of people you’ve previously paid will also be copied over to your new account, so you can easily access them and make payments from your new account.
  • Finally, you’ll benefit from the Current Account Switch Guarantee:

See the full Current Account Switch Guarantee.


What won’t be switched over to your new account?

You’ll need to update your card number for any online shopping you do.

You’ll also need to update your card details for any subscriptions you have.

When you switch over to your new account, you’ll lose your transaction history and bank statements from your old account, so if you want to keep these, make sure you’ve downloaded them before the switch happens.


What happens to my old bank account when I switch?

Your old bank account will automatically be closed by your old bank. Once you’ve confirmed and submitted the current account switch, you won’t have to do anything else.

Current Account Switch Service requirements

First, you’ll need to make sure your bank is signed up for the service. Most UK banks are, but you can check the full list of over 50 participating UK banks and building societies here.

You’ll also need to make sure your details are the same on both the old and new accounts.

One thing to note is that you can only switch between two current accounts. You can’t switch:

  • Savings accounts
  • ISAs
  • Payment accounts that don’t use the pound (£) as their currency


How to switch bank accounts: step by step

  1. Open an account with your new bank
  2. When you create the account, say that you want to switch an existing account to this new account
  3. Pick the date you’d like the switch to take place
  4. The two banks will take it from there: the bank you’re switching from will take care of closing your old account, while the bank you’re switching to will take care of setting everything up in your new account
  5. This will be done in seven working days and there should be minimum disruption to your banking
      • But you can also choose a specific date you’d like the switch to take place - as long as it’s a weekday
      • Either way, the switchover process will start seven days before your switch date - so don’t set up any new payments (e.g. Direct Debits) during this time because these won’t be switched over

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Switching student bank accounts FAQs

Does switching accounts affect your credit score?

You’ll likely only see a negative effect if you’re rejected for an account.

But any time you open a new account, this can impact your score. So make sure you don’t open too many new accounts in a short period - it’s usually recommended not to open multiple new accounts within six months of one another.

Check out this blog for ways to improve your credit score.

How soon after opening a bank account can I switch?

You can switch bank accounts as soon as you open a new account - it will still take seven working days for any account to be switched over.


How often can I switch bank accounts?

You can switch bank accounts as often as you want to.

The main reason for not doing this would be so you don’t miss out on any benefits of switching - there are usually T&Cs around how long you have to keep an account open to be able to claim the benefit.


Is it worth switching graduate accounts?

It could be worth switching accounts once you graduate if you could get additional deals or other perks that your existing account doesn’t offer.

Or, a different graduate account might allow you to start earning interest on your money.

You might want to switch from a graduate account to a regular current account, especially if you find it tempting to dip into your interest-free overdraft: switching would remove that temptation, helping you stay out of debt.


Can I switch student bank accounts if I’m in my overdraft?

You can usually still switch bank accounts if you’re in your overdraft. That doesn’t mean your overdraft will disappear, of course (although that would be nice) - you’ll have to take it with you, so the debt will be carried over to your new account. 🙏

This will only be possible if the new account offers at least the same overdraft as you had at your existing account, though.


Learn more about student banking in our ultimate guide.

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