What happens after you graduate?

Many student accounts offer an interest free overdraft that lasts longer than your course. This means you can pay it off over a few years.

Student overdrafts can be interest free for up to six years, or three years after graduation.

They usually change into a graduate account after you finish your course and often start to reduce how much of your overdraft is interest free each year. When the free period ends you will start paying interest on the amount you owe.

However, you can continue to use your student account after you graduate.

Check your existing student account

Your account terms may change after you graduate. Check the small print or ask your bank the following:

  • Will it still have the same interest free overdraft after you graduate?

  • How long will it last?

  • What fees and interest will you have to pay after the overdraft is withdrawn?

Do you need a new graduate account?

You could also get a new graduate account with a different bank if you want one with better features, such as:

  • If your account no longer offers an interest free overdraft

  • If it offers an interest free overdraft that will end soon

Some banks let you switch to their graduate accounts up to three years after you finish your course.

Compare graduate accounts

Find the longest interest free overdraft that will cover the amount you still owe. Some accounts offer overdrafts of up to 3,000.

If you find an interest free overdraft that lasts longer than your existing bank account, you will have longer to pay off what you owe without any charges.

Some offer overdrafts that are gradually withdrawn each year, for example:

  • Year one: 2,000

  • Year two: 1,500

  • Year three: 1,000

Switch accounts

Your new current account will pay off the overdraft on your existing student account. You will then owe that amount on your new graduate account.

Moving to a new account is simple and only takes seven days. Here is how to switch to a new current account.

The bank will run a credit check when you apply to help them decide if they should accept your application and on the size of the overdraft they can offer.

What other benefits can you get?

If you do not have an overdraft and will have a positive balance, you can choose an account with other benefits like:

  • Cashback

  • Access to exclusive discounts

  • Interest on your positive balance

  • Restaurant discount schemes

What do you need?

To switch to a graduate account you may need to prove that you have graduated by providing a copy of your degree or qualification certificated.

You may also need to provide documents to prove your identity and address.