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Student bank accounts

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Published: 20 November 2020

Piggy bank

There are a lot of perks to being a student at the University of Sunderland in London.

Obviously, you have access to excellent teaching, brilliant study support, fantastic facilities and an inspirational location.

But did you know you could also open a student bank account, giving you access to savings and taking away some of the financial worry while you study?

What is a student bank account?

Simply put, these are accounts designed to work best for students at universities in the UK.

Just like a regular account, they let you put money in and take it out.

But one of the major differences is the range of extra benefits like interest-free overdrafts meaning you have a little safety net without being charged.

How do I get one?

To qualify for a student bank account you, rather obviously, have to be a student.

You prove that to the bank you’re applying for with a UCAS confirmation letter stating you have an unconditional offer - I.e. you’ve definitely got place at the University.

Alternatively, if you have a conditional offer some banks accept A-level results matching your university offer or a letter from the University that confirms your place.

What this all means is you don’t actually need to have started studying before you open the account so you can start taking advantage of the benefits straight away.

Can existing students open an account?

For the most part, yes. If you’re reading this after you’ve already started studying with us, you haven’t missed out.

It does depend on the bank though. For example, some restrict new accounts to first year students only.

Top tips

Do not go over your overdraft limit. Although this is possible, when you go over your overdraft you’re going to be charged by your bank. That debt can add up and make life a lot harder in the future.

Be prepared for a credit check. When you apply for a student bank account you will have your past credit history looked at. This can include anything from whether you’re on the electoral roll to if you have a large amount of unpaid debt. Your credit score will determine whether the bank agrees to give you an account.

Don’t pick based on the nearest branch. Just because a branch of the bank is near to you doesn’t mean they’re going to give you the best deal. Take a look at lots of different banks and account options and choose the one that works for you. Don’t forget that online banking is taking over in the financial world, so the high street bank is going to be less useful as time goes on.

Switch to a top up graduate account when you finish. Top up graduate accounts are for students who have finished at university but still need to pay off their overdraft. You’ll get at least another year of 0% interest on your debt so you won’t be paying more than you spent.

There are plenty of student bank accounts available, offered by pretty much every UK bank.

While we don’t and can’t make any recommendations, we encourage you to look at comparison websites and find the best deal for you.

Visit Money Saving Expert for a more detailed discussion of student banks accounts and a breakdown of the ones offered in the UK.

We want to open access to higher education to everyone, regardless of their financial circumstance.

That’s why we have a range of scholarships and financial help available to our students.

Take a look at our Fees, Scholarships and Discounts pages for details.

Alternatively, contact the Admissions team at admissions-london@sunderland.ac.uk or call on 0207 5317 333 to find out more.

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