Get a student bank account
Before I went down to Barclays and set up my account I checked out the student account section on their website to see what I would need.
To open an account we need confirmation of who you are and where you live, according to government regulations. We need original documents (not photocopies) as detailed below.
To confirm who you are, we need one item from the list below:
o Full passport
o National ID card issued by a European Union country
o UK photocard driving licence or UK full paper driving licence
o UK Armed Forces ID card.
To confirm where you live, we need one item from the list below:
oStudent accounts - UCAS letter with name and address.
o UK photocard driving licence or UK full paper driving licence (if not used as identification).
o Gas bill (less than three months old) with evidence that the bill has been paid.
o Water bill (less than three months old) with evidence that the bill has been paid.
o Telephone bill for a fixed line, not a mobile (less than three months old) with evidence that the bill has been paid.
o Local authority/council tax bill (less than three months old) with evidence that the bill has been paid.
o Bank statement (less than three months old) from another bank.
o Letter from your school, college or employer confirming your name and address.
With this in mind I took along my provisional driving licence for identification and my UCAS acceptance letter (link) and Essex acceptance letter (link) to prove I was a student. I also took along my student loan details letter (link) just in case.
When I went to my local branch, I was told it was better to go to the Barclays in town, as it had a dedicated student centre, so along I went. When I got there I spoke to an adviser who checked my identification and handed me a student account application form (link) to fill in. Then I hit a problem, because I had an existing current account (with Natwest), they wanted to see three months worth of previous bank statements, which I hadn't brought along. I was also told I would have to close my existing current account when I opened one at Barclays. I could pretty much guess why this was - In return for the good student deal Barclays were giving me, they would want me to bank exclusively with them. But the reason I was told why I could only have on account was because they didn't want me getting into debt, and it would be easier to manage my money with one account - a very strange reason. Anyway after this I went home and completed the application form, and got my last three bank statements and went back to the bank.
I then hit another problem, my last bank statement was dated mid august, and wasn't current enough for Barclays. I now had to go back to Natwest and get a statement of all my transactions up to the current date. Luckily there was a branch just down the road, so I went in and asked for a statement.
With this statement I was able to go back to Barclays I had everything I needed to get a student account. After all these forms had been checked and photocopied I asked about the few missing bits on the statement. I hadn't filled in a term time address yet, but was told this was ok I could fill it in later. Also I didn't know how much to put down for my yearly income. After a few questions I decided to put £5000 which I thought would cover my loan, parents' contribution and any other money I might receive over the next year or so.
I asked about my other account being closed, and was told it would all be done by Barclays. There was another form which I had to fill in about transferring direct debits and standing orders. After probably about an hour or so I got everything filled in and was given a big folder and chequebook cover and stuff and was told I should receive more details in five days or so through the post.
I did have some worries about my student account though. I originally give the SLC my Natwest bank details, and soon that account would be closed. Hopefully there would be enough time to get my new bank details and still get the money - I really should have thought about getting a student account a bit earlier.