Student Checking and Savings Accounts

As a college student, it’s important for you to start opening bank accounts, like student checking and savings, for several reasons:

  1. You can begin to build credit by opening a student checking or savings account and managing it responsibly (i.e. don’t overdraw the account).
  2. It may be easier to manage your money and pay your bills using a student checking account.
  3. You can start a college budget and save money for things like study abroad programs, a new computer or student travel using a student savings account.
  4. Should family and friends not live close by, they can conveniently deposit money into your student accounts.

Student Banking

Financial institutions, like banks and credit unions, generally offer great deals for student checking and savings accounts.

You may wonder why college students get special student accounts that may carry lower fees and penalties, especially since students don’t usually carry large cash balances. Banks recognize that in the future students will need an array of financial products, like a credit card, mortgage, or car loan.

Student banking is one way to begin to develop an ongoing relationship with a customer, and hopefully acquire their loyalty so they can offer other products to serve your needs down the road.

Student banking is also very convenient for college students.

If you attend school at a location that is a significant distance from your permanent home, it provides a convenient and safe way for your friends and family to deposit funds into your account via a local bank branch, rather than mailing checks or money orders.

Most student accounts allow you to view your balances and make bill payments online, which is convenient for students without transportation or who live on college campuses far from bank locations.

Student Checking

Student checking accounts are perhaps the most common student accounts. You can open a student checking account at a local bank, credit union, or sometimes even with a bank on or near your college campus.

Here are some of the things you’ll want to look for when you open a student checking account:

  1. If you will need to make deposits at a physical bank branch or ATM, find a bank that is close to your college campus, your home or work.
  2. Make sure you research every aspect of a student checking account, including:
    • Minimum deposit requirements to open the account
    • Minimum balance required so that you are not charged a monthly fee (if applicable)
    • Monthly fees (if any)
    • Insufficient fund fees (if you overdraw your account, each transaction can result in a hefty fine and they can add up)
    • Online banking access and fees (if applicable)
    • Amount of interest paid on balances or other account benefits

Student Savings

It’s always a good idea to start a student savings account, even if the balance is small. Once you prepare a college budget, you can begin saving for your short and long term goals, such as a Spring Break vacation or a new car.

In addition, some student banking accounts will allow you to link your student checking and savings account so that you can transfer funds between these accounts.

Here are some of the things you’ll want to look for when you open a student savings account:

  1. If you will need to make deposits at a physical bank branch or ATM, find a bank that is close to your college campus, your home or work.
  2. Make sure you research every aspect of a student savings account, including:
    • Minimum deposit requirements to open the account
    • Minimum balance required so that you are not charged a monthly fee (if applicable)
    • Monthly fees (if any)
    • Can you link up to a student checking account and automatically transfer funds for overdraft protection
    • Online banking access and fees (if applicable)
    • Amount of interest paid on balances or other account benefits