Big Banks will attempt to draw your eye to their student accounts with all sorts of flashy offers and gimmicky deals. As a conscientious consumer and Blackbullion Blog reader, you’re already one step ahead of the curve in making smart financial decisions. Take your knowledge to the next level with this blog post where we’ll run through the Top Three things to understand when choosing where to park your student cash. By identifying what you want from an account you’ll avoid getting drawn into the banks marketing honeytraps.

1) Overdrafts

 

Banks understand that most students struggle financially while studying. Consequently, you may require an overdraft facility. What’s an overdraft and where is this facility you speak of?

Overdraft Facility – when a bank lets you spend more money than is in your account, at no extra charge, up to a set limit.

You are two weeks away from your next student loan payment, but you’ve got a balance of £3.25. It’s could be a lean fortnight…which is why you need an overdraft. Most banks have limits around £1,000 that you can draw on for free! If you go above this limit then you’ll almost definitely incur a penalty fee. What would you rather, invest £40 in your union bar or give £40 to Mr. Halifax (n.b. this is an arbitrary reference to a randomly selected UK high street bank, we could have said Mr Bank of Scotland but that wouldn’t have sounded as good)?

PRO-TIP

 

By arranging for a larger overdraft that you know you’ll need, say £3000 when you only plan on requiring £1000, you can draw into your overdraft and transfer some of that spare cash into a savings account or other higher interest account. That was you can rack up interest on borrowed money!

2) Those Deals Tho

 

Everyone loves a deal. My weekly shop is essentially defined by which foodstuffs have a bright yellow reduced sign on them. Banks understand our weakness for a perceived bargain and will target you will all sorts of eye-catching offers. Santander’s free 4-year 16-25 railcard saves your a tidy £120, however, if you never get the train that deal’s not particularly useful…

Check out our pick of the top deals:

3) Internet Banking

 

The future is here! No longer do you have to plod into your local bank branch and wait for ages while fellow customers dodder around with those fiddly little pens. Banking online means you can keep on top of your finances from the comfort of your bed/sofa/lecture. Knowing where your money is going is a huge factor in taking control of your finances. Being able to monitor your spending on an app can make you more aware of bad financial habits and, hopefully, stop them.

All major banks have online banking and apps you can download. Some upstarts have gone the whole hog and don’t have any physical branches. I know, this is a blog post about student bank accounts, but I thought I’d mention a couple. Main players: Loot, StartlingMonzoRevolut.

The Pros: Real-time notifications that update you on your spending. The ability to designate “pots” of money to help you budget. Excellent user-interface that allows you to clearly monitor your cash flow. Free overseas withdrawals, up to around £200 per day.

The Cons: You’re phone running out of battery, leaving you unable to check your account…

Andrew Morton- Blackbullion Instructional designer.

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