I have an offer to study Fine Art and UCL next year, and have begun to look into how to finance next year. Basically I am expecting my student loan to just about cover my accommodation, and even with support from my parents I'm looking to plug a whole in my finances and afford the cost of living in London.
So I'm looking to try and get the account which has the biggest overdraft, HSBC and Halifax both offer up to £3000 overdrafts, but apparently most people don't get the full overdraft. I know Halifax guarantees £1000 in the first year so between £1000-£3000 seems more appealing than accounts like Santander which only offer up to £1500.
However, I don't know what the banks' customer service is like, whether HSBC or Halifax are likely to go over £1000 or not, and whether other banks are likely to pay more. Does anyone have any advice on student bank accounts? I am not interested in freebies, mainly the overdraft.
I went with Lloyds and whilst they did give me £3k, this only happened in my final year. It's pretty standard across all the high street banks to offer you £1k and then they will look to extend based on how you run your account. i.e. if in the first week you max it out, they wont extend. If you keep going over your overdraft limit an incurring charges they wont extend.
If you want t get the max, the best way is to try and manage your finances sensibly. 1. Don't incur charges 2. Try and get a part time job so you show you have money going in as well. 3. Time. This is important. The bank will be assessing you for risk. The longer they have a relationship with you, the safer bet you become (unless you've done any of the things mentioned above).
Personally I would choose an account that offers other perks alongside the overdraft. Also re Customer service, it really depends what you want. Barclays and First Direct have great online banking experiences (from personal experience)
Good luck whoever you go with