For many university students, this will be the first time in their lives that they need to take control of their finances, budget properly and make sure that things are paid on time. A current account is essential for tracking your money and taking proper control of where it is and where it’s going.
There are many specialist student current accounts available, and these can have many advantages. Some offer benefits on joining, such as reduced phone or travel insurance, and nearly all offer an interest free overdraft throughout your time as a student at university (and often for a period of time after you have graduated).
The overdraft can be particularly useful for a student, as often loan payments are made three times a year. This means that until budgeting has been properly mastered, and as books and other materials often need to be purchased in bulk at the beginning of each term, there is the planned overdraft to fall back on without the stress and worry of racking up hefty fees and charges. In a time where the main focus is on study, exams and getting coursework handed in on time, money worries are just too much extra, unnecessary stress. Many worry about the access to the interest free overdraft and that it will get them into debt, but if this is a serious concern for you, it is a good idea to ask your bank to set it at a minimal amount to be used for emergencies only.
A current account will also be essential for bill payments (especially if living in a shared house rather than halls of residence) such as electric, gas, water, mobile phone, TV licence etc., as a lot of companies require you to pay by direct debit. Current accounts can definitely make things easier to manage, as with online banking you can see all of your regular payments in one place.
If you are going to be working part time during your time at university, a bank account is usually the preferred method of payment by employers (although other methods are available, albeit not commonly used). Similarly, if your parents or other family members wish to help you out financially at any point during the term, a current account is incredibly useful for making sure the money gets to you as quickly, safely and conveniently as possible. Transferring money between accounts in the same country is readily available through online banking with little hassle.
Current accounts allow you to access your money much more easily, especially with online banking, which allows you to keep track of your expenditures and see exactly how much you have left at any given time. As previously mentioned, it is easy with online banking to make transfers into other accounts (your own, or those of others if you need to) and you can feel safe in the knowledge that ATMs are widely available if you need the physical cash in your wallet.
In summary, yes, students should definitely consider applying for available current accounts packages, as there are so many advantages to having one.