Top Student Bank Accounts 2012/13 

If you’re looking for a list of the top student bank accounts for 2012, you’re certainly in the right place!

1. The Co-operative Bank

They’re currently offering a really good deal, with an overdraft limit of up to £2,000 (0% interest) in your third year. This isn’t a guaranteed figure though, it’ll depend on your account activity. Another thing to bear in mind is that you need to deposit £300 into the account once it’s opened in order to obtain the overdraft.

You can use your student loan or grants to hit this threshold though. The overdraft is structured like this: up to £1,400 in your first year, £1,700 in the second year, and up to £2,000 in your third year.

Unarranged borrowing is costly – with an interest rate of 15.9% and charges on top of that. If you do see yourself going over your limit though and you agree a to further borrowing, the interest rate is a pretty reasonable 9.9%. Although no graduate accounts are offered by The Co-operative, they’ll let you keep your student account and 0% overdraft facility for up to 1 year after graduation. This gives you just enough time to clear off your overdraft, providing you get a job upon graduating.

2. Natwest & The Royal Bank of Scotland

These banks are offering a very similar deal. Again the overdraft is tiered – in the first term of year one you can apply for a 0% overdraft of £500, £750 in term two, and £1,000 in term three. The limit in your second year of uni is £1,250, whilst the limit in the third year is £1,500.

As with the other banks offering student accounts, charges and interest rates for those who go over the agreed lending tend to be pretty hefty.

As one of the perks of opening an account with these banks, some of you will be entitled to a free railcard – which could come in pretty handy for those costly trips back and forth to university in the holidays.

2. HSBC

The HSBC actually offer the highest overdraft facility for students, in theory. The only issue is that you’re likely to get far less than the advertised amounts, because it states “up to” – and not “guaranteed”. The 0% overdraft starts at £500 in your first year, and could rise up to £3,000 in your final year, subject to approval.

There’s a little added bonus with the HSBC too, because they’ll pay 2% interest on money credited to your account during the first year of study (up to £1,000) – which is pretty good if you’re not going to be in the red.

These are the best deals out there for students at present. Remember that the accounts and their specifics tend to change on a yearly basis, so it’s always worth popping into your local banks on the high street in order to see who can offer you the best deal. If you don’t have time to pop into bank branches then you’ll find all you need to know about the student accounts on offer through their websites.

Remember student banking is a really good way to save money during university – it’s one of the only times in your life that you’ll have access to a 0% overdraft. Don’t forget that once you graduate you may be entitled to a graduate banking account, which will also offer a 0% overdraft that is gradually reduced, so as to help you get out of debt.

Student banking can end up costing an arm and a leg if you don’t put in the time and effort to find the very best deal for you – so make sure you do it!