For a student living away from home, often for the first time, a bank account is very important. It offers financial independence and a quick way to access funds for daily necessities like food and drink, and study essentials like textbooks, as well as the occasional night out. A student bank account is designed around student needs, and often offers special rates and perks, so it’s worth shopping around for the right one.
Lloyds Bank was founded in 1765 and is one of Britain’s largest banks, with its registered office in London and branches and cashpoints all over the UK. The services Lloyds offers include online banking¹.
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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.
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You can apply for a student account either in person at a branch of Lloyds, or online. Do keep in mind, though, that even if you start the application process online, you still have to go to a branch to show your documents. The upside of applying online is that you don’t have to make an appointment to show your documents, you can just pop in whenever you have time - within the opening hours of your local branch of course².
To apply at a bank branch, you’ll need to call Lloyds to make an appointment at your local branch, and bring all the required documents to your appointment.
The documents you’ll need to show at the bank, are²:
- Proof of identity, for instance a passport or a driving licence
- A letter proving that you have a place on your course, either from UCAS or from your college or university
- Proof of address. This could be a bank statement, bill or letter from your college or university, as long as it's less than three months old and shows your current address
You can apply for a Lloyds student current account as soon as you have a college or university place confirmed. You can also open an account in any year of study if your course has already started.
Lloyds offer one type of account specifically designed for students, conveniently called Student Account. The benefits of a Lloyds Student Account include online banking, so you can manage your finances from anywhere and at any time, and you can apply for their fee-free tiered overdraft facility as well. There’s a mobile app to make it easier, and mobile alerts if your balance is getting low².
You’ll receive a debit card so you can withdraw money from cashpoints. If you're aged 18 or over, you'll be given a contactless card for easier payments in shops and on public transport. You can also use your Lloyds card abroad to withdraw money or pay for services, as well as to make payments in foreign currencies, but you may be charged a fee².
Lloyds also has some neat features, such as, being able to claim up to 15% cashback at a wide range of shops and restaurants³, and saving your “change” when you pay by debit card⁴.
If you're planning to travel or study abroad, or if you have family in other countries, you may need a bank account that allows you to switch between currencies. TransferWise offers a borderless multi-currency account with virtual account details for the UK, Australia, New Zealand, the USA and the Eurozone, so you can send and receive payments in multiple currencies with low or no fees. A linked debit card lets you withdraw cash from your account wherever you are in the world.
To open a student current account with Lloyds, you’ll need to be aged 17 or older. You'll also need to have been a UK resident for at least three years. You're eligible for a student bank account if you're a full time student on a course that lasts two years or more, or on a one year access course leading to a degree. As soon as your application for your studies has been confirmed you can apply, but you can also still apply after you’ve started uni².
If you're not a UK resident who has lived in the country for three years or longer, you’re most likely not able to take out a student account. International students who live in the UK can, for example, choose to open a Classic Account, instead, or have a look at the other current account options Lloyds offers².
Once you graduate, Lloyds will automatically convert your Student Account to a Graduate Account. This account allows you to apply for fee-free arranged overdrafts during the first three years after you graduate, to help you get started in your career².
There's no charge to open a Lloyds student account, and there are no monthly fees for maintaining the account, either. However, there are other fees to think about, for example if you go beyond your agreed overdraft limit, you'll be charged. Here’s a selection of the most important fees⁵:
|Standing order||No fee|
| Sending money within the UK|| |
| Sending money outside the UK|| |
| Receiving money from outside the UK|| |
| Arranged overdraft|| |
| Cash withdrawals outside the UK (in foreign currency)|| |
| Paying with your debit card in a foreign currency|| |
When you open your account, the bank will agree an arranged overdraft limit with you. Provided you do not go beyond the limit of your overdraft, you won’t need to pay a fee for going overdrawn. You can extend your overdraft by making an online application, and you'll receive a decision straight away².
The limit of your overdraft depends on your circumstances, and on which year of study you are in. For the first six months of your course, you can have an overdraft of up to £500. This increases to £1,000 for the next three months, then to £1,500 for up to three years. If your course is longer than three years, you can apply for an overdraft of up to £2,000 for the fourth year and beyond².
Remember that the bank can ask you to repay your overdraft, and any fees, at any time.
Choosing the right bank for your situation might save you a lot of headache later on, the best way to do this is making sure that you’re informed about the different options you have, so you can make the right decision. A student account with Lloyds could turn out to be the best solution for you, but you can also have a look at an alternative provider, such as TransferWise. Specially if you’re an international student, this could be a good option.
Sources used for this article:
*All sources checked on March 13, 2019
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