Switch banks when you graduate
It’s important to remember that you don't have to stick with the same bank when you graduate. Even with debts, students are an attractive long-term prospect due to their heavily increased earning potential.
Depending on your bank, you'll be able to retain an interest-free overdraft for at least a year after graduating.
Six of the accounts in our table (below) allow you to keep your interest-free overdraft for up to three years after you graduate, reducing it in tiered stages. This could prove valuable if you decide to go travelling or are unable to find work right away.
Picking the best graduate account
Our table shows the graduate accounts available ranked in order of the maximum free overdraft they allow.
|Provider||Max free overdraft year one||Max free overdraft year three||Additional authorised overdraft rate||Access||Customer score Customer score help|
|Barclays ||£3,000||£1,000||0.00%|| ||58%|
|Bank of Ireland ||£3,000||n/a||0.00%|| ||n/a|
|Bank of Scotland ||£3,000||£1,000||19.89%|| ||62%|
|Lloyds Bank ||£3,000||£1,000||19.89%|| ||62%|
|TSB ||£3,000||£1,000||16.77%|| ||67%|
|NatWest ||£2,000||n/a||17.81%|| ||56%|
|Royal Bank of Scotland ||£2,000||n/a||9.90%|| ||55%|
|Santander ||£2,000||£2,000||0.00%|| ||62%|
|HSBC ||£1,500||n/a||19.90%|| ||56%|
|Ulster Bank ||£1,500||n/a||n/a|| ||42%|
|First Trust Bank ||£1,000||£1,000||0.00%|| ||n/a|
Table notes: Correct at June 2017. Customer score
Which? customer score based on customer satisfaction and likelihood of recommending company to friend/family member. Customer scores are based on a survey of an online panel of respondents from the general public, who were invited to take part in the bank account customer satisfaction survey - during March 2017. The final sample size was 5,041.
Back to customer score in money table
Banks offer these for three to five years. They are usually for between £5,000 and £15,000, and you repay them at an interest rate of between 7.9% and 11.9%. This works out as being less expensive than exceeding your overdraft limit but is not fantastically cheap.
Some careers, such as the law, qualify for longer loans.
Barclays, the Co-operative Bank and the Royal Bank of Scotland offer career development loans, where interest is paid by the government during the period of study.
Best Rate bank accounts
We analyse the whole market and calculate the cost of the account so you can see how much you're likely to pay or how much interest you'll earn if you choose that account.
Follow these links if you want to know more about how we choose our Best Rate bank accounts and Which? Recommended Providers.