Navigating through your uni years is easier when you’re the holder of a student bank account. The main advantage of these accounts is the possibility to adhere to an arranged overdraft which can give you some financial flexibility.
One of the banks that link multiple advantages to their student accounts is HSBC. Offering bank and financial services in over 60 countries worldwide, HSBC welcomes UK resident students and apprentices¹.
Planning on studying in the UK? If you need to make payments to or from your home country, TransferWise could save you money versus your bank
Before you get started, a bit of information about international payments.
Going to university can be expensive. Classes you have to pay for, books you have to buy and, if possible, you want to enjoy student life as well. Maybe you’ve been saving money to go and study abroad, or you have family or friends who are helping you out, either way, sending money abroad can be a costly business.
Banks and money transfer providers often give you a bad exchange rate to make extra profits, and most of them use intermediary banks to send your money across borders. All of this can add up pretty quick. However, there’s an alternative.
TransferWise is different. Its smart new technology skips hefty international transfer fees by connecting local bank accounts all around the world. Which means you can save up to 8x by using TransferWise rather than your bank when you send your money abroad. Oh, and TransferWise gives you the most fair exchange rate out there, the mid-market exchange rate.
Check out how to make your first transfer with TransferWise. And give it a try.
HSBC proposes an interesting student bank account to local and international students who have resided in the UK for the past three years at least. You can open the account either online or in branch depending on your student status and circumstances. In either case, you must comply with the following²:
- You must be aged 18 or over
- Must have resided in the UK, Isle of Man, or the Channel Islands for minimum 3 years
- You must currently live in the UK
- You must be enrolled or have accepted an (un)conditional offer from one of the qualifying superior education or apprenticeship courses (apprentices can only open an account by going to a branch)
The bank will also ask for the following documents³:
- Proof of identity (passport, driving license, or ID card if you're an EU national)
- Proof of UK address (utility, landline telephone, or council tax bill, mortgage statement or rent agreement)
- Visa or residence permit if you're a non-UK national from outside the EU, EEA or Switzerland
- Proof of student status²
A valid proof of student status can be, for example:
- 16-digit status code from UCAS
- Other proof of your place on an eligible course if you don’t have a status code yet
- Proof that you've completed your studies within the last three years if you’re a postgraduate
- Proof of your confirmed apprenticeship
If you're new to the UK and can’t provide any of the proof of address documents mentioned above, HSBC may accept as proof a letter from a university or employer showing that you live in the UK. Because HSBC conducts credit checks before approving a student account, you won’t be able to apply unless you’ve been a resident for no less than 3 years².
HSBC offers a single student current account solution to both UK national and international students who have lived in the UK for the past 3 years. The account comes with multiple benefits for eligible students, including a guaranteed no-interest overdraft of £1,000 on account opening¹.
You can request to increase your arranged overdraft limit up to £3,000 by your third year of study, and the bank will automatically switch you to a graduate current account on course completion¹.
Besides the guaranteed overdraft, the bank also offers an array of essential and extra benefits including telephone and online banking, top-ups from your mobile phone at HSBC ATMs throughout the UK, a mobile banking app, a contactless debit card and even a student credit card with a spending limit of up to £500 ⁴.
Under the Regular Saver program, HSBC gives you the possibility to gain a preferential interest of 3% on monthly savings between £50 and £250 for a fixed period of 12 months¹.
You’ll be able to gain access to the Student Exclusives website that features discounts and freebies on various products and services, and thanks to the integration with the Paym app you’ll also be able to send or receive money using only your mobile number.
If you’re an international student, know that you can use the HSBC student account to make and receive international payments. However, the bank will convert the amounts automatically at their exchange rates, and you may have to pay fees on some payments⁶.
A great alternative to a student account is the TransferWise’s borderless multi-currency account that lets you hold over 40 currencies and get virtual local account details in GBP, EUR, USD, AUD, and NZD. You can also receive free or cheap payments in these currencies and link a debit card to your account.
The borderless account from TransferWise is a great alternative if you’re new to the UK and you find it difficult to get the correct documents to provide acceptable proof of residence to the bank.
To open a student bank account with HSBC, you need to be 18 years old or over and must have lived in the UK for 3 years at least. The residency rule serves credit check purposes necessary for the approval of your arranged overdrafts and/or student credit card⁴.
You’re not eligible if you already have a student account open elsewhere, and you must also be studying or have a confirmed place to study in a⁴:
- Full-time qualifying course or higher level apprenticeship at a university or college in the UK
- Part-time qualifying course or higher level apprenticeship if you’re on Disabled Student Allowance.
The bank will automatically move you to their graduate bank account for the next two years once you’ve graduated¹.
HSBC charges no fees to open and maintain a student bank account. But there are some services for which you’ll be charged a fee, these include⁶:
|Standing order||No fee|
| Sending money within the UK|| |
| Sending money outside the UK|| |
| Receiving money from outside the UK in a foreign currency|| |
| Receiving money from outside the UK in pounds|| |
| Overdraft|| |
| Cash withdrawals outside the UK (in foreign currency)|| |
| Paying with your debit card in a foreign currency|| |
HSBC gives you a guaranteed interest free overdraft of £1,000 on opening of their student account. You can request an increase to £2,000 in your second year and £3,000 in your third year, but these are subject to status and account conduct.
You may also be eligible for an interest free overdraft of £1,500 in your first year and £1,000 in the second year after switching your student account to graduate¹.
Opening a student account with HSBC comes with a host of benefits if you’ve been a UK resident for at least 3 years, have a great credit history, and need some financial aid to support your higher education.
Or, if you’re an international student looking to send and receive money in multiple currencies and at the best rates, the TransferWise borderless account could help you manage your finances in the best possible way.
Sources used for this article:
*All sources checked March 28, 2019
This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from TransferWise Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.
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