The Best Student Bank Accounts

Blogs 16 Jan 2023 / 6 mins read

By Owen Redman

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The Best Student Bank Accounts

The Best Student Bank Accounts

As a university student, money can be tight! Having a student account is a great way to take control of your finances, but choosing the right account to keep your funds in is a difficult decision. We are here to help! Read this blog to learn what a student bank account is, the various ones on offer in 2022/23, and how to choose one.

What is a student account?

A student account is an account intended for university students specifically. Student accounts differ from standard ones by offering various perks and offers.

Why should I have a student account?

Having a student account is not necessary, but banks often offer good incentives like 0% interest overdraft and other perks if you do open one. Many students choose to direct their maintenance loan payments to a student account.

How do I set up a student account?

In most cases, you will be able to apply online, although some banks might require you to visit a branch in-person.

When opening a student account, you must provide proof of your student status, usually with evidence such as:

  • Transcripts
  • UCAS confirmation or university acceptance letter
  • Council Tax exemption form

You will also need to provide proof of identity using documents such as:

  • Passport
  • Driving licence
  • Birth certificate

When do I open a student account?

Most banks allow students to apply for an account within six months of their course commencement date.

The ideal time to apply is before the start of the first semester, in July or August. This is when the best deals are available, and this also means that you will receive the first instalment of your student loan to your new account on time.


Which student accounts are on offer in 2022/23?

A number of banks offer their own version of a student account, so you should shop around to find the one that suits you best. Here is our comparison of the top student accounts for 2022/23:

Barclays Student Additions Account

Barclays offers a 0% interest overdraft starting at £500 in your first year, but this can be increased to £1000 upon request. In the second and third year, this will rise to £1500.

The incentive to sign up is a year-long subscription to Perlego, a digital library. This could help you to save money on textbooks!

Halifax Student Current Account

Halifax offers a 0% interest overdraft of up to £1500. To receive the full amount, you will need to make a case to the bank. Halifax will determine your eligibility based on your credit score and spending habits.

Halifax does not provide an incentive for sign-up, but does offer cashback at retailers like Costa and Sainsbury’s.

HSBC Student Bank Account

HSBC offers a 0% interest overdraft starting at £1000 in your first year, and rising by £1000 each year until you are eligible for a £3000 overdraft in your third year.

Students who opt for this account will receive £100 in cash, provided they make five transactions within 30 days of opening it.

Lloyds Student Current Account

Lloyds offers a 0% interest overdraft starting at £500 for your first six months of study, increasing to £1000 until month nine, and then £1500 onwards. If you study for more than three years, this will increase to £2000.

Lloyds also does not provide an incentive for sign-up.

Nationwide Flex Student Account

Similarly to HSBC, Nationwide offers a 0% interest overdraft starting at £1000 in your first year, rising by £1000 each year, with a £3000 overdraft in your third year. You must contribute £500 per semester to the account.

If you have opened and paid £500 into the account before 16th December 2022, you will receive £100 in cash.

Natwest Student Current Account

Natwest also offers a 0% interest overdraft which is set at £500 in your first semester, and up to £2000 in your second.

This academic year, Natwest is offering students £80 in cash and a four-year Tastecard, a discount card for restaurants that can give you a discount of up to 50% when eating out. You must register for online or mobile banking to receive these incentives.

RBS Student Bank Account

RBS offers a 0% interest overdraft of £500 in your first semester, increasing to £2000 in your second. To receive the overdraft, you must contribute £750 to your account biannually and make three transactions per month.

The sign-up incentives are the same as Natwest’s: £80 in cash and a four-year Tastecard.

Santander 123 Student Account

Santander offers a student account with a 0% interest overdraft of £250 when opening the account, rising to £1500 in your first year of university, and higher again if you stay at university for more than three years. To receive the overdraft, you must contribute £500 to the account each term (to fulfil this, use this account to receive your student loan).

Santander offers a free four-year 16-25 Railcard upon signing up for this student account. The Railcard usually costs £100, and will save you a third off your train tickets for four years.

The Co-Operative Student Bank Account

The Co-Operative offers a 0% interest overdraft of £1400 in first year, £1700 in second year, and £2000 in your third. You must contribute £300 to the account within 28 days of opening it to receive your overdraft.

There is no sign-up incentive offered.

TSB Student Bank Account

TSB offers the same overdraft limits as Lloyds, and also does not provide any notable incentive. However, you can receive 5% interest on amounts up to £500 (an extra £25 per year).


How do I choose the right one?

Choosing which bank to open a student account at is a personal decision which we cannot make for you! We have outlined the different options on the market, so have a look into each one and find the best fit for you.

Here are some tips to help you out:

  • Opt for the largest overdraft

Overdrafts on student accounts are interest free, meaning you can borrow money from the bank without having to pay a penny more than you actually used. It’s always good to have this leverage.

  • Be aware of any repayment conditions

Ensure that if you do use your overdraft, you are aware of the bank’s stipulations for repayment.

Most banks give you a year or more after graduation to pay back your overdraft interest free, but know the terms carefully. Plan ahead for repayment!

  • Don’t be swayed by perks

Some extra cash or a free subscription might sound enticing, but don’t let it be what makes you choose one bank over another. Be smart, do your research, and look at all aspects of a student account before deciding!

What happens to my student account once I graduate?

Your student account is usually turned into a graduate account once your course finishes. You will typically have a year or two to pay off any outstanding overdraft. Always check with your bank to make sure.


Thank you for reading our blog! We hope that this gave you a better insight into the world of student bank accounts! There are many on offer, so please make sure that you do your research properly before opening one.

Posted by Owen Redman

Co-founder of Roome

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