How to figure out which student bank account to choose

Published by Newman University on

Piggy bank
Choosing the right student bank account is tricky as there are so many and each of them have their own unique selling points. This post aims to break down what to look for and determine which account is the most suitable for you.

There are many different factors to consider when choosing which student bank account you would like, the main two being overdrafts and incentives. All of this may sound really complicated but this will be broken down further.

To sign up for a student bank account you need 1 or 2 forms of ID (e.g. passport or driving license), proof of address (e.g. recent utility bill or bank statement) and proof of student status (e.g. letter of acceptance from university or UCAS offer letter).


An arranged overdraft is a way of being able to borrow money through your account. Most banks have interest free overdrafts with their student accounts which means you pay back nothing extra to what you borrow. However, this 0% interest period is not for life, it only lasts a certain number of years after you graduate before you have to start paying interest charges. The overdraft amounts for each bank for 2022 are as follows as per the Save The Student! website (a more detailed breakdown of the year by year overdrafts can be accessed through the website at the bottom of the post):

  • Up to £3,000: HSBC and Nationwide
  • Up to £2,000: Santander, Natwest, RBS, Lloyds Bank and Co-operative
  • Up to £1,500: Barclays, Halifax and TSB


Many banks offer incentives to join them for a student bank account, but not all of them do. However, you need to be smart when looking for these as some include free subscriptions or travel discounts but an account with a large interest-free overdraft for more than three years would be more beneficial in the long run.

The incentives for each bank for 2022 are as follows (as per the Save The Student! website):

  • HSBC, Lloyds, Co-operative and Nationwide: None
  • Santander: 4yr Railcard for ⅓ off
  • Natwest: £50 cash and 4 year Tastecard
  • RBS: £50 cash and 4 year Tastecard
  • Barclays: 12 month Perlego subscription
  • Halifax: 0.10% in-credit interest
  • TSB: 5% in-credit interest up to £500
More detailed information and breakdowns of each bank account can be found on Save The Student!.
 – Written by student Ellie Brace – 


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