Most banks offer student accounts specifically designed to meet your needs, but it's usually worth finding out which offers you the most in the long term.
What should I look out for?
- An interest-free overdraft: This can be very useful if, for example, you have to pay your rent before your loan arrives in your account. But remember to check how much you can be overdrawn without having to pay interest and how long it remains interest-free after you graduate.
- Hidden charges: Some banks charge fees for returned cheques and unauthorised overdrafts, for example.
- A student adviser: They can give advice and offer the right banking facilities for your needs.
- Access to internet and telephone banking: So you can keep track of your spending.
- Ability to set up Direct Debits: A UK current account is required to spread your payments over the academic year in line with Kingston University's Direct Debit instalment plan. Direct Debits are not available with most cash or savings accounts.
How do I open a bank account?
To open a bank account, you might need to show your bank:
- a copy of the letter from Student Finance England, confirming your maintenance loan / grant amount;
- identification (such as your passport, full UK driving licence or University registration card);
- proof of your term-time or home address; and
- confirmation that you have been offered a place on a course at Kingston University.
International and EU students: You'll need to provide proof of identify and address. You might also need:
- your passport or National Identity Card if you're an EU student;
- your birth certificate;
- proof of your address back home (such as your letter from UCAS confirming we've offered you a place);
- proof of your address here in the UK (your hall licence or tenancy agreement, for example); and
- a letter to confirm the above, which you can get from your faculty or course office.
What about after I've opened the account?
- Keep track: Check your balance and statements regularly so you know how much money is in your account. Internet and telephone banking can make this easier.
- Keep your bank informed: Make sure your bank knows your current term-time or home address. This will stop you missing any statements or other important correspondence. And remember to check with them before you get overdrawn.