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HSBC - A Godsend for poor students!!!
HSBC Student Banking
Member Name: ross1979
HSBC Student Banking
Date: 12/07/01, updated on 12/07/01 (426 review reads)
Advantages: overdraft facilities, internet banking, no fees for cash machines
Disadvantages: none really
I stumbled across HSBC (or Midland as it was then) on my campus when I was a little fresher at Loughborough University, and chose to bank with them for two reasons and two reasons only.
Firstly, there was a branch on campus so it wasnt far to go if I wanted to winge at the manager that I had spent all my dosh on beer and wanted an overdraft. And secondly, they gave me 50 bucks for joining. You cant say fairer than that. There was the option of either £50 or a 4 year railcard. I wish I had taken the railcard but a railcard would not pay for rounds of drinks during freshers week!
Of course, I should have considered my choice a bit more throughly since I have been with them for 4 years, including one on a graduate account. But I guess I got fairly lucky because I have found them to be fairly flexible and friendly throughout that time.
If you do find yourself in the situation where you need an overdraft - as most of us do, they are reasonable about it and, usually, if you ask you will get it. I think the maximum is pretty high, and it is incremental each year going up by about £500. Even if you do exceed your limit, there is no fee and you get charged only interest on the amount you are over your limit, which amounts to peanuts if you are only a few quid over.
One of the most annoying thing I found with them was that they used to charge me a pound whenever I used a cash machine that wasnt either theirs or a bank they let you use. I ended up spending a lot on just taking money out just out of convenience. But they have stopped that now, and you can now use any machine free of charge (as long as the provider does not charge you)
I have run in to no real other problems with them. They have given me a good graduate package, with a continuing overdraft which goes down in increments of £500 each year so you can get rid of your debt gradually. Again, in this account they are fairly leniant if you go over your limit but I
dont want to push it!
Of course you get virtually no interest on the student account, so I advise that you seek out the highest interest easy access account on the market for your student loan in the meantime, and shift across whenever you need cash. You can do this all on the net, and the internet banking on HSBC is a real bonus, being easy to use and well-designed. You can get your statement, make payments, amend direct debits, etc etc.
So, in summary, I would highly recommend this bank to new students. Above all, you should check out all the banks and see what they have to offer (not just in free cash or gifts). I think you will find this one fairly close to the top of your list.