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Strapped students scrounge for freebies

The British Bankers Association (BBA) has said it is concerned that students looking to open a new bank account may be tempted by freebie offers when the overall service may not be suitable for them.As September sees the next generation of students entering universities, the BBA has said that students should be more cautious before being tempted to open an unsuitable account on the basis of free offers such as rail cards. Brian Capon, head of media relations for the BBA, advised students: "You've got to be a bit careful. There are freebies around and it may well be that they're certainly useful to you, but you've got to look at the overall package - don't just concentrate on freebies. Perhaps the overall account isn't quite what you're looking for." He added that uncharged overdraft deals could lead to an escalation in overall debt: "Some banks run a scheme where for the first year you've got an overdraft of a thousand, the second year it goes up to £1,500 and the third year it goes up to £2,000," Mr Capon said."Others may well say right at the beginning that your limit is, say, £1,500 and you've got to stick with that all the way through your studies. You've got to look at everything," he concluded.

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