When preparing to study, it can seem like you have an endless list of things to do before you begin your course. Amongst deciding on the best accommodation, picking up the books for your course and researching the best freshers events, spending a bit of time learning how your finances will work while you study could prove to be invaluable to your future.
The UK’s favourite student banks
Becoming a student means handling money independently for the first time for a lot of people. And even if you enter your degree feeling comfortable, living independently, often without the time to earn outside of your course, can see you quickly seeking financial support. For this reason, it’s worth thinking about which bank can offer you the most suitable student account.
Popular features offered by student banks
0% interest overdrafts
Freebies like a complementary student railcard
With over a quarter of students choosing Santander, this is the most popular choice for student banking. With half the number of student accounts, HSBC is the second most popular option. Sharing third position, Natwest, Barclays and Lloyds each have 10% of the student population choosing them.
Whether it’s because students are unwilling to put in the effort to switch or they want to stick to something familiar in a period of rapid change, students are most likely to stick with the bank they’re currently with for their student account. Almost half (44%) of students will pick an account with their current bank, a third of students are attracted to bank accounts with 0% overdrafts and freebies, and another third also considered banks that their friends or family were with.
Students rated how satisfied they were with their banks out of five and the results are presented below. The most popular student banks of 2018 (ie, the ones that are most used by students) are furthest to the left of the graph.
Santander, as well as being the most popular bank, has the highest satisfaction rating from its users. HSBC is the second most popular bank among students but has 3.96 satisfaction score – the second-lowest score of the 10 banks. The Co-op has a surprisingly high satisfaction rating considering its status as least popular of these student banks.
How far are students into their overdrafts?
There is no trend between the amount overdrawn by and the year of study. With an average of 11% of students saying that they were overdrawn by £1,000-£1,999, this was the most common amount to be overdrawn by.
Charlie Barton is a publisher at Finder. He specialises in banking and investments products, including banking apps, current accounts, share-dealing platforms and stocks and shares ISAs. Charlie has a first-class degree from the London School of Economics, and in his spare time enjoys long walks on the beach.
How likely would you be to recommend finder to a friend or colleague?
Very UnlikelyExtremely Likely
Thank you for your feedback.
Our goal is to create the best possible product, and your thoughts, ideas and suggestions play a major role in helping us identify opportunities to improve.
finder.com is an independent comparison platform and information service that aims to provide you with the tools you need to make better decisions. While we are independent, the offers that appear on this site are from companies from which finder.com receives compensation. We may receive compensation from our partners for placement of their products or services. We may also receive compensation if you click on certain links posted on our site. While compensation arrangements may affect the order, position or placement of product information, it doesn't influence our assessment of those products. Please don't interpret the order in which products appear on our Site as any endorsement or recommendation from us. finder.com compares a wide range of products, providers and services but we don't provide information on all available products, providers or services. Please appreciate that there may be other options available to you than the products, providers or services covered by our service.