A simples guide

Can I have a student bank account as a mature student?

If you’re heading off to university and you’re over 21, you’ll be what’s classified as a ‘mature’ student. You certainly aren’t in the minority – just over half of students in the UK are over 21 when they start their studies, 38% are between 25 and 39 and 10% are over 40 so you’re in excellent company. If you’re wondering whether your mature status excludes you from any typical student financial perks, then this is the article for you.


Can I still have a student account if I’m a mature student?

Yes, you can. It doesn’t matter how old you are, you can have a student account if you’re taking a qualifying higher education course (it’s best to check that yours is included by the bank as some university courses don’t qualify).

The even better news is that there’s big competition between banks to snare you whilst you’re a student. If they get you now, chances are you’ll end up sticking with them for years to come, so you’ll be inundated with offers of free stuff or vouchers.

But just make sure you choose your student account carefully. The one unique point about student bank accounts is the interest free overdraft on offer. Having an overdraft means you can spend more money than you have in your account, up to an agreed amount, without charge. But remember, this is only supposed to help you out in a tight spot so it’s a good idea not to abuse this and you’ll always need to pay it back at some point. However, if the freebie on offer outweighs any benefits of having a large overdraft for you, then go for it.

You’ll also need to be mindful of the wording on overdraft limits, some banks will give you a ‘guaranteed’ amount and others will be ‘up to’. In most cases, banks will also increase your level of interest free overdraft for each year that you remain in higher education – which might come in handy if you move into private rented accommodation or need to fund a work placement.

Look after the pennies

Managing your money is vital and what your bank gives you, it can also take away so don’t go beyond your agreed overdraft limit. If you do, you’ll face hefty fines and fees so don’t do it. If you continually go over your overdraft and generally get yourself into a financial pickle, then your bank can cancel your overdraft and demand you pay back every penny. The moral of the story is to be wise and do some mature student banking.

Money jar full of pennies
Credit card

Earn some credit

If you’re approved for a student bank account, then you need to make sure you play by the rules because your money management will be reflected in your credit history. If you mismanage your finances now, it could count against you if you try and get credit, a loan or a mortgage in the future so use this as a good opportunity to build up a good credit score – it could stand you in good stead for the future.

It’s not always about location, location, location

Don’t be tempted to take the lazy way out and opt for the bank down the road from your halls. Having a branch nearby is handy and most banks will have some sort of presence in a large town. Otherwise, pretty much all banks will give you online access to manage your account. And to minimise the risk of you ‘accidently’ spending more than your overdraft, most banks will offer a mobile banking service through apps so you can stay in control even when you’re out and about. So choose your account based on what the bank gives you – not necessarily where it's located.

Compare now, spend wisely

Find the best student account for you by comparing the market – we’ve made it easy to search by account type and also helpfully included key features so you know what you’re getting into. But don’t forget to read the small print, the devil’s always in the detail.

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