The newly found freedom of getting into college also brings days of financial independence for many young people. While some students may already have bank accounts, most would have to manage their finances for the first time in life. Parents may worry about their children making the wrong decisions. By reading the fine print, students can avoid making fatal financial mistakes.
There are Bank promotions that are specifically marketed toward these young college students. The banks are aware that most young people are financially ignorant. Some colleges have agreements with certain banks that allow for the banks to promote themselves. Students can receive information about their banking options on campus before they even arrive!
The banks will send the information via the mail. These campuses are an excellent opportunity for banks to market themselves to students. According to research, almost 40% of the students sign up for these college-sponsored accounts.
Check the Fees
The fees charged for these bank promotions vary significantly, so instead of just automatically choosing the college-sponsored bank account, you must investigate the associated fees. Just because the account is offered with your college/school logo does not mean you should choose it immediately.
However, gathering the data associated with banking fees for college-sponsored banks can be significantly hard. You can compare the institutions that have displayed the data on their website, but there are still no regulations, and some information may be missing or not mentioned. Usually, you would only know about the banking details of your specific bank through bank promotions. Also, some institutions have sponsored accounts that do not charge any fees.
Focus on Free
Most students do not have extra spending money. Students need to be conscious of the charges and limit their spending. Look for bank accounts with minimum balance requirements, no maintenance fees, free ATM services, free debit cards, and low transferring fees. Checking accounts usually have minimum fees as they are best used to keep money safe for short periods.
Weigh ATM Convenience Instead of Bank Promotions
The life of a college student is hectic and full of chores. You may be taking classes in the morning and working in the evening to pay the dues. Between this, a student has little time to stray away from the plan. Therefore, instead of focusing on promotions offered by the banks at your college, choose a checking account with no ATM fees because you would frequently need to withdraw money. Also, the choice of the account should be based on the location. Most national banks have branches nationwide, but ensure one is close to your location.
Some credit unions and online accounts also charge lesser fees; however, you must always read the fine print as there could be withdrawal caps.
Overdraft Fees on Debit Cards
Instead of being lured in by bank promotions, check for any overdraft fees using your debit cards. Accounts created through federal student aid do not have overdraft fees. However, other accounts may charge you around $32 for insufficient credit for a purchase. Also, check for fees associated with your debit card when you purchase a certain amount. There may be any hidden charges that you are not aware of.
Student accounts usually mature after a certain age and become standard accounts. Knowing the timeline and restrictions on the account beforehand can save you from the potentially unwanted situation. Traditional accounts also come in different varieties, and bank promotions usually only focus on the ones with high fees.
Do your research, and compare the options you have before deciding. Overdraft protection is something you should stay away from. You may be inclined to use the protection, but it typically comes with a high fee. You are better off getting embarrassed for a declined transaction than being charged for overdraft protection.
Focus on App Instead of Bank Promotions
With the ease of technology, it has become easier to keep tabs on everything, and your bank account is no different. Many reputable banks offer phone apps that can be used to keep track of your financial status and set certain limitations on the account for your benefit.
Following these tips will ensure that you make a wise and informative decision right from the start of your financial journey.About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual bookkeeping, providing service to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud platform where their QuickBooks™️ file, critical financial documents, and back-office tools are hosted in an efficient SSO environment. Complete Controller’s team of certified US-based accounting professionals provide bookkeeping, record storage, performance reporting, and controller services including training, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, process and controls advisement, and bill-pay. With flat-rate service plans, Complete Controller is the most cost-effective expert accounting solution for business, family-office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.