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Keeping your money safe

Keeping your money safe

Student Banking

Student bank accounts give you access to various benefits (e.g. interest-free overdraft, free railcard) which are not available through ordinary bank accounts. These benefits will vary from bank to bank so it is a good idea to shop around and see which student account is the best one for you. You can compare information about the student accounts that are on offer on various comparison websites and you can also visit the individual banks’ websites for up-to-date information. Money Saving Expert has created an informative guide to get you thinking about which account might be the best for you in their Student Bank AccountsLink opens in a new window article.

Most student accounts offer an interest-free overdraft facility but this will vary so make sure you do your research before you make your decision. An overdraft facility allows you to essentially borrow money from the bank. The amount you can borrow will be set by your bank is either set at the start of the year or it could increase in stages during the course of the year. Most banks allow you to extend your overdraft limit with each year of study, but you may need to apply to do this. Your eligibility to extend your overdraft limit may depend on how well you have managed your account (e.g. not exceeding the limit without permission from the bank) in the preceding months or years. Remember, if you exceed your overdraft limit without permission from the bank you will incur bank charges. These charges will vary from account to account, so make sure you check the fine print.

When you graduate, you can apply to switch over to a graduate account. Your bank will be able to advise on how to apply for this and they can outline how the account will work (e.g., how long you will have to repay your overdraft). You can find out more at Money Saving Expert's Graduate AccountLink opens in a new window guide.

If you utilise online banking, you should check out the MoneyHelper guide, How to stay safe when using online banking Link opens in a new windowfor helpful guidance to keep your money secure. They have also written an informative article about Shopping and paying online safelyLink opens in a new window.

If you are an international student considering opening a UK bank account, check out the following webpage Opening a UK Bank AccountLink opens in a new window.

To set up a student bank account you will likely need:

  • ID (e.g. passport, driver's licence)
  • Proof of your current UK address, such as a utility bill, bank statement or driver's license (if not using as ID).
  • Proof of your student status, such as your student ID card, student finance letter or a university letter confirming your enrolment.

Make sure you read the terms and conditions before signing up for any financial product


With essential living costs rising, it can be tempting to borrow money to help alleviate the financial strain in the immediate period. However, this can result in debt which in turn can cause significant financial difficulty and impact your mental health and wellbeing.

One way that people can find themselves in debt is through Buy Now Pay Later schemes. NASMA have put together an infographic on Buy Now Pay LaterLink opens in a new window with key points to consider when looking at this option of payment. Further to this, Money Saving Expert have put together a more detailed guide on Buy Now, Pay Later: How it works and what to look out forLink opens in a new window.

Another way in which people can find themselves in debt is with payday loans. Citizens Advice has put together an informative guide on Payday LoansLink opens in a new window to explain more about points to consider before taking one of these out and information if you're having issues with a current payday loan.

MoneyHelper has a range of articles covering a variety of debt topics which you may want to review to find more information and support regarding your debt type such as:

To see more check out their Dealing with DebtLink opens in a new window webpage. Here you will be able to access other information about debt including dealing with courts and fines and ways to pay off debt.

Debt Advice and Support

If you are struggling with debt, there is help available. Money Saving Expert has put together a Free Debt AdviceLink opens in a new window guide which outlines how to assess your current situation, suggests steps you can take to alleviate your strain and signposts to organisations that can support you, including Citizen's Advice. You may also like to speak to the University's Student Union Advice Centre:

Debt can negatively impact your credit score, which can affect your ability to borrow money in the future (e.g. taking out a mortgage, or setting up a mobile phone contract). If you are looking for information on How to improve your credit scoreLink opens in a new window, the Money Saving Expert guide is a good source of information for this. Money Saving Expert also has useful calculators for:

If you are in financial difficulty and are unable to meet your essential living costs, you may be eligible for Hardship FundingLink opens in a new window from the University.

If your finances are impacting your mental health and wellbeing, you can also access support from the Wellbeing and Student SupportLink opens in a new window team.


Gambling is common within the student community but can have detrimental effects, from mental health difficulties to strained relationships and financial trouble. The University's Wellbeing and Student Support team have a detailed Gambling Link opens in a new windowwebpage explaining the types of gambling and the support available that is worth checking out if you are struggling.

Gamcare Link opens in a new windowis a charity that provides gambling support and they have created lots of Self-Guided ResourcesLink opens in a new window including workbooks, goal planners and diaries for people who are struggling with gambling. They also have a multitude of options for you to speak to one of their advisers, from telephone to WhatsApp and more.

YGAM also provides support for people struggling with gambling or gaming-related harm. They have a specifically dedicated Student HubLink opens in a new window webpage full of information. Their web pages explain the different forms of gambling, the scope of the issue within the student community and triggers. YGAM also signpost those who are struggling on their Where to Find HelpLink opens in a new window webpage.

Fraud and Scams

Fraud and scams are becoming increasingly prevalent, sophisticated and difficult to identify. The national campaign Take FiveLink opens in a new window provides information and tools to try to prevent you from becoming a victim of fraud/scams. Within their General AdviceLink opens in a new window web pages, you can learn about the various types of fraud/scams. One of the most common we see our students targeted by is Banking FraudLink opens in a new window. Banks and credit card providers will not ask you to give private information over the phone. If you are in any doubt, end the phone call and call your bank's main telephone number to ensure you are talking to a genuine person.

Which?'s Scams Link opens in a new windowweb page offers guidance on what to do if you have been a victim of a scam and have an email alert service you can sign up to be notified of the latest common scams people are victimised by. You can also notify them of scams you have been subject to so that they can make others aware of what to watch out for. Their webpages also signposts to support for victims of scams from Mind Link opens in a new windowand Victim SupportLink opens in a new window.

If you have been subject to a scam, you may want to contact your local Citizen's Advice Centre for support:

You may also like to speak with the University's Student Union Advice CentreLink opens in a new window for support.

Why not try the Take 5 Scam QuizLink opens in a new window to see if you can spot a scam!

Scams relating the energy are widespread, so the Energy Saving Trust have put together some information on How to Spot an Energy ScamLink opens in a new window.

HMRC have recently released a useful information document about Money MulesLink opens in a new window which includes how to prevent yourself from being targeted and what to do if you think you have been targeted.

You can access support from the University with your mental health and wellbeing - Wellbeing and Student Support.Link opens in a new window