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Opening a student bank account

As a student you will need to have a UK bank account as any grants/ loans for which you are eligible are paid directly into your account.

Many students will already have a bank account but may find it more beneficial to either transfer to a student bank account or shop around for a new account offering better interest rates.

Choosing a Student Bank Account

Many student bank accounts will give you an interest-free overdraft. You may find this useful if you have to make payments from your account while waiting for your student loan or wages to be paid into your account. You should be advised not to treat this overdraft as extra income but to use it only in emergencies. Remember that any overdraft will become a debt once you have finished university and will probably be subject to bank interest charges when you have left university.

If you think you will be overdrawn at the end of your course ask your bank to let you know how long after you graduate your overdraft will remain interest-free. Hopefully, you will then be able to clear the overdraft before any interest is accrued.

Check the interest-free overdraft limits. Always check with your bank before you go overdrawn. If the overdraft hasn't been approved you will incur bank charges.

Make sure you know the charges the bank will deduct from your account if you go overdrawn without an overdraft facility, go over your overdraft limit, or have any payments declined.

Arrange to have online banking or ask your bank for monthly statements. Always check your bank account regularly and always keep bank statements. You will need these if you want to apply for assistance from the Hardship Fund.

Don't be tempted by the "free gifts" the banks might offer you - instead check out the interest charges, both debit and credit. Several banks now pay interest on credit balances. There is a useful website giving information on student bank accounts

Ask if you can speak to a Student Adviser at your choice of bank to ensure the account you have chosen is right for your needs.


Opening a student bank account

UK Students may be asked to provide the following
  • A letter of introduction from St Mary's
  • Your passport or your birth certificate
  • Full UK Driving Licence
  • Your Student Support Notification (showing your loan entitlement) or your Student Loan Payment Schedule
  • Proof of your home or term-time address (Hall Accommodation Contract, Tenancy Agreement, utility bills etc)
EU and International Students may be asked to provide the following
  • A letter of introduction from St Mary's
  • Your passport or National Identity Card
  • Your birth certificate
  • Proof of your home address (Bank statements, UCAS Confirmation of Offer letter etc)
  • Proof of your term address (Hall Accommodation Contract, Tenancy Agreement etc.

We have put together a helpful leaflet for  international students wishing to open a student bank account.


Letter of introduction

If you require a letter of introduction for your bank, please download a  letter request form and return this to Registry in the N Building.