Some tips about Student Banking from Call2Call
Whether you have family funding, part time work or student loans, it's important to manage your money, especially as a student. But what bank do you use? What account should you use? Do you need an overdraft? We try and make things simple for you with some handy tips...
Simply bank on it.
Choosing a bank - the high street banks all have good services and generally a good reputation. Choices could be location (near to your university), a good overdraft, has a good interest rate, low bank charges or even has a stronger ethical approach and better reputation. The Motley Fool, a financial services website, has daily features and research into the best banks, accounts and ways to manage your money. Browse the site for good impartial advice.
You've chosen your bank, but which account do you require? Most banks will have a particular student account, catered for students which include interest-free overdrafts, savings on the high street and online, and easy-accessible apps. But don't get bogged down with the draw of freebies. Look for lengthy (time) interest-free overdrafts and credit interest as well. If you're lucky enough to be in credit, some accounts pay up to 6% interest!
Get over it?
Overdrafts are quite important for student life. If you accidentally spend more than you have in credit, (very easy to do!) you need an interest-free overdraft, so you don't get charged every time you become overdrawn. This is a great money saver while you are studying as you normally you get given a minimum £1,000 limit. Just remember, this works the same as a loan, so after you graduate you will have to pay it back.
Most high street banks have handy apps for convenient use. They are generally free to download and you can do most basic banking via your smartphone. Check the balance of your account, view your most recent transactions and transfer funds between accounts - all from your bedroom!
It all seems like a good idea at the time - whack all your payments onto a credit card, then pay it off at the end of the month. But when you find that you can't pay it off, you'll be charged huge interest. What seemed like a quick fix idea then turns into a nightmare, with a long-term (and increasing) debt. However convenient credit cards may be, they should only ever be used by those with financial discipline. Pawn your balls if you have to but ALWAYS pay your credit card off at the end of the month!