Setting up a student bank account

Sorting out a student bank account early will ensure the most generous interest-free overdrafts or the best-available freebies will be offered
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The publication of A Level results mean more than half a million students will be getting ready to start to university this autumn. Sorting out a student bank account might seem boring, but organising it now will ensure that you achieve the most generous interest-free overdraft or the best-available freebie, depending on the fullness of your student coffers. It will also mean your account will be open in time for fresher’s week.

If, like most students, you expect to run up debt during your university career, go for an account with the most-generous interest-free overdraft, which simply means the amount of cash you can borrow from banks without being charged for the privilege.

One of the top accounts comes from Halifax, which offers students the highest overdraft limit of £3,000. Others allow you to gradually increase your interest-free limit each year. The Co-operative Bank, for example, offers £1,000 interest free in year one, £1,700 in year two and £2,000 in year three.

If, however, you expect to stay in credit throughout uni, then it’s worth considering the freebies on offer. The best is from NatWest, which offers students a five-year railcard discount. HSBC’s student account includes two-year worldwide travel insurance, and a mobile Sim card with £5 credit, whilst Lloyds TSB offers an NUS Extra Card, YHA membership and 40 free music downloads.

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