Posts

How to Pick a Bank Account for University: All You Need to Know

Here at Boomerang Ed, we’re making it our mission to help students with all things finance.

Banks can be tricky because, despite stating the facts, consultants are effectively salespeople and will often use gimmicks to try and tempt you to accounts that might not actually be the best for you.

So we’ve put together a few factors that should help you figure out how to pick a bank account for university 🙂

how-to-pick-a-bank-account-for-university-pound

How to pick a bank account for university:

First things first, student accounts work just like normal bank accounts but you can only open them if you are in or about to start higher education. They come with extra features so here’s what you should be looking out for:

1) Look out for hidden fees

Bank accounts can come with all sorts of fees that you might not realise at first, such as:

  • Fees for failed standing orders or direct debits
  • Monthly or annual fees for holding the account

Most accounts will also charge you for:

  • Sending money to another country
  • Withdrawing cash abroad
  • Requesting copies of old statements

If you think you’ll be making use of these services frequently, make sure you choose an account with low fees.

how-to-pick-a-bank-account-for-university-credit

2) Find out how you can use the account

Most student bank accounts should be offering you:

  • A debit card
  • ATM withdrawals
  • Telephone banking
  • Online banking
  • A mobile phone app
  • Contactless payments or a service like Apple Pay

how-to-pick-a-bank-account-for-university-app

3) Research the best overdraft

  • Overdrafts allow you to keep spending money, even after the balance in your account reaches zero.
  • If this happens, then your account will show a negative balance. For example, if you withdrew £20 with just £5 left in your account, your new balance would read -£15
  • Look out! Overdrafts tend to charge interest on the money you borrow. However, many student accounts offer interest-free overdrafts of up to £3,000, so make sure you look at all the options.
  • Be careful not to spend beyond the overdraft limit (you can find this out from your bank) because you will be charged fees, which could damage your credit record.

how-to-pick-a-bank-account-for-university-overdraft

4) Is there a branch nearby?

Having a branch that is local will be useful if you need to:

  • Take out cash if you lose your card
  • Pay in cash
  • Pay in a cheque

 how-to-pick-a-bank-account-for-university-cash

5) Freebies

Student bank accounts will often offer you free stuff which can include:

how-to-pick-a-bank-account-for-university-nus

These freebies can be great – just make sure you’ve looked at all the other factors we’ve mentioned first. Finding an account that offers everything you need is more important than the perks!

Take a look at this handy comparison of all student current accounts to find one suitable for your needs.

If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch with the Boomerang Team! 🙂

3 Work Experience Hacks: How to Get Work Experience this Summer

Do you want the good news or the bad news?

The bad news:

No matter what anyone says, getting work experience is not easy. You’ve got to be ready to put in the hard yards and even then, there’s still no foolproof way to secure the placement of your dreams. If only!

The good news:

We’ve put our heads together and come up with our top 3 work experience hacks just for you! If you follow these tips, you’re bound to find work experience this summer 🙂

1. Simplify the CVwork-experience

So you want to prove to whoever’s reading your CV that you’re the person for the job. Great.

You’ve crammed in every last detail and possible skill to showcase your brilliance. Not so great.

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to fill your CV with endless lists of all your skills and previous experience. In fact, a more simplified approach demonstrates an ability to select relevant info. and tailor it to your employer – an important workplace skill. Which brings us to our next point.

TAILOR YOUR CV. So if you’re applying for work experience in a law firm, think about whether or not you’ll need to include a paragraph on your part-time babysitting job, for example.

Rather than talking at length about every job/hobby you’ve ever had, in lengthy sentences, just pick the relevant points and condense them. Your CV is going to be skim-read, so the important information needs to be easy to find.

It can still be handy to give an idea of what you’re like as a person though (CVs can be boring) so it doesn’t hurt to include a few personal interests.

steward-for-oxfam

Become a festival steward for Oxfam.

2. Volunteer

Volunteering at a local charity is an excellent way to gain great experience and do some good all at the same time. Charities are almost always looking for volunteers to help out in all sorts of areas, from working behind the till, to campaigning. It’s well worth exploring this online. Here are a few sites to get you started:

Do-It

Oxfam

British Red Cross

3. Apply speculatively & make the most of your contacts

As unfair as it may seem, a lot of work experience placements do come down to who you know.

But what if I don’t have any contacts?Network

You’d be surprised how many contacts you do have actually. Other than the obvious – parents, teachers, neighbours etc, you should also think about other people who you could have in your network without even realising it.

For example, if you’ve got involved in a youth scheme like Young Enterprise, you might be able to contact a couple of industry professionals. It doesn’t hurt to try – employers will value your tenacity and initiative.

Does your school invite outside speakers to give talks to your year group? Make sure you show enthusiasm for their subject and ask for their contact details at the end of the talk. You never know who could be handy to know, so make as many connections as possible, whenever you can.

I STILL don’t have contacts

There’s still hope!

Official work experience programmes can be few and far between, especially if you’ve left it a bit late and missed deadlines already. So apply speculatively i.e. contact local companies that you know of and just ask them. Don’t forget to use social media too – you’d be surprised how many opportunities are available through platforms like Twitter.

It doesn’t matter if they don’t have a ‘work experience’ section on their website. Lots of businesses, especially  some of the smaller ones, might not have a fully-fledged scheme in place but this doesn’t mean they wouldn’t be happy to have you on board for a week or so.

Time to start making those connections! Don’t worry if you get a ‘no’. Everyone’s had them. We know you’re fabulous so just be enthusiastic, friendly and sincere and you’ll bag yourself some amazing experience before you know it.

work-experience-gif

Want more tips? Tweet @BoomEdStudent with any questions/comments. We ALWAYS respond.