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How to bag the best student account.

MANY students heading off to university for the first time this autumn will get their first real taste of what it's like to manage their own finances.

Sylvia Waycot, editor of financial information website uk has some tips for finding an account that can make the grade.

Firstly, you'll need to trawl through the range of "perks" included with accounts and decide if they're worth it.

"The most popular incentive offered this year is commission-free currency," says Ms Waycot.

"However, you can get commission-free currency from a number of places, so it is not a real incentive."

She says that offers of discounts in "selected" shops are also only a bargain if you shop in those places already and discounted insurance incentives may be found cheaper "if you are willing to shop around".

She also says: "When deciding which account is going to serve you best, you first need to understand how you intend to spend your interest-free overdraft.

"Are you likely to need the full PS3,000 from year one, or are you concerned about taking on too much debt and would rather restrict the amount you can borrow? "And what happens if you need to go beyond the agreed interest-free overdraft? "For the optimistic, there are some accounts that offer interest on your credit balance, but don't get sidetracked by this unless you're sure you will have a credit balance - most students don't.

"If it turns out that managing your money was more difficult than expected, don't bury your head in the sand. Seek advice as soon as possible so that a suitable action plan can be put in to place; after all, studying can be stressful enough without adding to the burden."

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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Aug 23, 2014
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