Student Banking

May 22, 2009 by  
Filed under Study Abroad

UK Student Banking and Student Credit Cards

Studying in the UK presents students with many potential problems, perhaps the most significant relating to money and finance. Indeed many students find themselves having to manage their own finances for the first time in their lives.

Do not worry – help is at hand. Usually your student union will be able to help you with general advice, and you will be please to hear that UK banks actively encourage student applicants – they see you as an excellent business opportunity. Most banks provide similar services but try to identify the bank that suits your needs by doing your homework. Students generally choose one of the big five banks: Abbey National, Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds TSB and Natwest. however they all provide different options and different facilities. Often they choose the one with a branc on campus because it is the most convenient.

But be careful, do not be dazzled by all the hype – banks will often offer you free gadgets and cash back which seem very attractive, but you may well be better off finding a bank that offers a good deposit interest rate or low interest loans. Do you sums carefully before deciding.

Students are usually eligible to receive a number of ‘cards’ by the bank they select. These come in two main forms, credit cards and debit cards, and either may act as a cheque guarantee cards that can be used in conjunction with your cheque book. Debit cards take money instantly from your account and rely on you having sufficient funds in your account when you make a payment. Credit cards have a set limit and require that you pay a minimum amount usually within 2-3 weeks of receiving your credit card statement. Be careful not to run up large credit card bill – the interest payments can be expensive and the balance can ‘get out of hand.’

In summary there are many options available to students in the UK. Shop around and choose carefully – look for long term value over short term gifts or promotions. Use credit cards with caution!