A simples guide

I’m not a student anymore but still have a student bank account, what should I do?

So you’ve graduated – congratulations! But what are you going to do now? It’s all well and good that your years at university have come to an end but taking the first step into the real world of actual, grown up employment can be daunting. Even if you’re lucky enough to have a job lined up, managing a set monthly salary rather than a big lump sum once a term can take some getting used to. But worry not, your student bank account after graduating usually magically becomes a…graduate bank account – here’s what you should know.


Graduate bank accounts

This is pretty much what it says on the tin – it’s a bank account for when you graduate. If you have an existing student bank account, your bank may automatically switch your student account to a graduate account. But just because they may do this (hoping that you’ll stay with them because you can’t be bothered to switch) you don’t have to stick with your current bank.

You can open a graduate bank account with any bank that offers them and you’ll usually be able to transfer your outstanding overdraft as well. As with student accounts, graduate accounts will usually offer a preferential package that includes an interest free overdraft. However, some banks will reduce the amount of authorised overdraft each year – gradually weaning you off before eventually cutting off the interest free apron strings completely.

Piggy bank and coins

Not just for newbie graduates

If you’ve realised your bank’s not giving you what you need but you graduated a couple of years ago, you can still switch loyalties. Most banks will offer preferential terms for up to three years after you graduate so it’s worth investigating.

It’s still not free money

Just as with your student bank account – the interest free overdraft of your graduate account isn’t free money. You still need to pay it back so it’s worth being all grown up and sensible about it (you’re no longer a student, remember). Take advantage of the interest free bit and start paying back what you owe – if you budget weekly you’ll be surprised at how much you can eat away at it without affecting your weekly spends too much.

But if you keep living a Selfridges lifestyle on a Primark budget, then you’ll be in trouble. If you abuse your overdraft and generally get yourself in a financial tizzy, then your bank could take away some or all of your overdraft facility. 

Credit cards

Do I have to open a graduate bank account?

No, you don’t. If you’re really good with your money and find yourself in credit every month, then good for you. You can take advantage of your thriftiness by comparing great deals on standard current accounts – you may find the interest rates more favourable.


What about a graduate loan?

Do you really need it and if so what for? If you’ve got a great job lined up and you can pay back your monthly instalments as well as fork out for your rent, food and bills then it could give you a kick start such if you need a rental deposit or some new work clothes.

But think carefully, if you’re already facing a mountain of overdraft do you really want to add to your debt? Plus, a graduate loan won’t be the cushy Student Loan type where you don’t have to pay anything back until you start earning a certain amount. Nope – commercial loans are quite a different breed of animal, if you miss a payment you’ll be faced with fines bigger than a crocodile’s bite. Like all predators, approach a graduate loan with caution.


Who should I choose?

This is where we come in, we can’t help comparing stuff (which can be a nightmare in changing rooms) so to make sure you’ve got the best package, have a browse and check out graduate bank accounts on offer today.

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