Headed to Uni? Check Out The Best Student Bank Accounts of 2023

Are you headed to university soon? Keep reading to check out some of the best student bank accounts with interest-free arranged overdrafts!
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Elvis once sang that ‘only fools rush in,’ and while he was talking about love, the same holds true for your finances. The good news is that if you’re reading this, you’re no fool. Taking the time to assess your options before making a financial decision is a wise way to reduce stress, manage your expenses, and meet your financial goals.

If you’re heading into university this autumn, you’re probably looking for a student account with an interest-free arranged overdraft. Almost every high street bank will be showcasing a student account offering, which can make it hard for even the most financially-savvy students to make a good decision.

To make matters easier, we’ve created this guide, reviewing the best students accounts for 2023. But before we get to the reviews, let’s take the time to make sure we’re finding the right account for you.

What to Consider Before Getting a Student Account

While each student account offering is similar on the whole, the small differences can have a big impact on your finances. Therefore, it’s vital that you consider your own financial needs and goals before applying. Otherwise, you might find yourself stuck with an account that doesn’t serve you. Before applying, make sure to ask yourself the following:

How Much Overdraft Do I Need?

Having the right overdraft limit is essential. Going over your overdraft limit can lead to fees and penalties, and could even result in the bank taking your arranged overdraft privileges away. Too little overdraft could leave you without the flexibility you need. Therefore, it’s important to select an account with an overdraft limit you can use comfortably and responsibly.

At the same time, keep in mind that your overdraft is effectively a loan, and you’ll have to pay it back. Take the time to consider what you can realistically afford to pay back before choosing the account with the highest overdraft limit. Doing so will help you build sustainable financial habits.

Related read: What Happens if I Can’t Pay My Overdraft in the UK?

Will I Be Travelling?

If you’re planning to travel abroad during your time in university, choosing an account with minimal or zero foreign transaction or cash withdrawal fees could save you a pretty chunk of change. Of course, if you’re only planning to study abroad for a few weeks, it might make less sense for you to choose a student account based on those factors.

Will I Be Able to Meet the Account’s Funding Requirements?

Many student accounts have explicit £500/term funding requirements. Others have less strict funding requirements. Make sure that you select a student account that you’ll be able to fund each term, whether you use your student loans or money earned from a side hustle.

Are the Perks Worth It?

Almost every student account will come with a perk. However, the truth is that these perks are offered solely to entice students like you into signing up for an account with that bank. Switching your bank account can be an annoying task—so annoying that people stay with their banks for over 14 years, according to the financial technology company Raisin.

The incentives for banks to get new customers to sign up is high, and that’s reflected in their perks. However, those perks don’t always last—in fact, many offers have clauses stating the bank can withdraw the offer at any time. Before signing up for any student account, make sure that it would be the right fit for you even if it didn’t offer a particular perk.

The Best Student Accounts for 2023

The following are four of the top student accounts available in 2023. Click any of the bank accounts for a detailed review of it—including key benefits and drawbacks that you should know about before signing up!

Bank Account Year 1 Overdraft Max Overdraft Mobile App Ratings Signing Perks* Foreign Transaction Fee Foreign Cash Withdrawal Fee
HSBC Student Account £1,000 £3,000 by year three App Store: 4.8 stars Google Play: 4.6 stars Free £100 when you sign up 2.75% 4.75%
Santander 123 Student Account £1,500 £2,000 by year five App Store: 5 stars Google Play: 3.8 stars Free four-year Railcard 4% 0% when withdrawing a local currency from a Santander cash machine
Nationwide FlexStudent £1,000 £3,000 by year three App Store: 4.8 stars Google Play: 4.2 stars Up to £10 cashback on supermarket shopping 0% 0%
NatWest Student Account £1,000 £2,000 by year two App Store: 4.6 star Google Play: 3.9 stars £50 and a free four-year tastecard 2.75% 2.75%

*Perks offered by banks change regularly, or are only available for a limited time. For example, Nationwide’s supermarket cashback offer expires on 30 April, 2023. Our team will update these perks as they expire or new one’s are introduced.

Other Student Accounts to Consider

The accounts featured above are some of the best on the market right now in terms of arranged overdraft limits. If you’re brand new to student finance, they’re definitely a good place to start your research. However, they’re not the only student accounts out there. If you want a couple more options, check out these accounts:

Bank Account Year 1 Overdraft Max Overdraft Mobile App Ratings Signing Perks Foreign Transaction Fee Foreign Cash Withdrawal Fee
Lloyds Bank Student Account £1,500 £2,000 by year four App Store: 4.8 stars Google Play: 4.3 stars Cashback on certain debit card purchases 2.99% + £.50. You won’t be charged the £.50 for payments made using Euros in the European Economic Area 2.99%
RBS Student Account £2,000 £2,000 App Store: 4.5 stars Google Play: 4.4 stars £50 and a free four-year tastecard 2.75% 2.75%
Barclays Student Addition Account £500 £1,500 by year two App Store: 4.8 stars Google Play: 4.4 stars None currently 2.99% 2.99%

Build Your Credit With Pave

Getting your student account all set up is a key part of your journey to financial independence. By taking the time to do your research into an account before signing up for one, you can ensure that you’re getting the best fit for your needs.

Getting the right student account is important because when you graduate, you won’t have an interest-free arranged overdraft. If you dip into that overdraft, you’ll have to pay interest back on it, just like with a credit card, so it’s essential you build good habits early. That’s why we made Pave.

With Pave, you can:

  • Protect your credit score by tracking your upcoming payments
  • Deepen your understanding of the factors that influence your credit score
  • Actively build your credit with our credit line (subject to approval)

If you want your credit score and finances to be in great shape, Pave might be able to help you. To take the next steps, download Pave from Google Play or the App Store to get started today!