UK Students

Student bank accounts

Student bank accounts are like current accounts but tend to offer beneficial rates and terms to students in higher education. To open a student bank account you usually need to be over 18 and studying on a full-time degree course. How long you have been resident in the UK will also be taken into consideration but this varies from bank to bank.

It is advisable to open a student account as soon as possible. Often you can do this prior to starting university by using your UCAS letter.


An overdraft allows you to withdraw more money than you have paid into your account - the bank allows you to borrow money from them when your money has run out.

A benefit of most student bank accounts is that the bank will not charge you for borrowing this money and will offer you an authorised and agreed interest-free overdraft limit.

Shop around

Student bank accounts are a very competitive business. Banks will try and compete for your business by offering freebies such as a Young Persons Railcard or discount cards. Incentives should not be a priority when choosing a bank account. Most students find the interest-free overdraft facility is more useful throughout their time at university.

Some things to remember:

  • Never exceed the agreed overdraft limit - otherwise a charge will be incurred
  • Always check what the interest rate and other charges are for exceeding the agreed overdraft limit.
  • Never borrow more money than needed  - it does need to be repaid after graduation
  • Find out when the overdraft needs to be cleared - some student bank accounts will require repayment of the overdraft soon after graduation, others will allow the interest free overdraft to remain for a year after graduation.
  • The way in which you manage your overdraft as a student can affect your credit rating. 

Consider looking for the bank that will allow the biggest interest free overdraft for the longest period of time.

Compare accounts

To find the best bank account for you, take a look at our comparison table (PDF: 223KB) or take a look at the following comparison sites: