If you are a teen or young adult looking to open your first checking account, do you know where to start? Do you know what questions to ask when evaluating the best student checking account options? Here are a few things to keep in mind as you begin your research.
Choosing the best Student Checking account
Selecting a Bank: Choosing a bank to open your first account can be hard, especially if there are lots of options in your area. Start by talking to your parents. They most likely have a local bank they know and trust and chances are, if you’re under 18, you will need one of them to open the account with you. Next, search online for “student checking accounts near me” to see offerings in your area. There may be several banks that provide a student specific account, so it’s important to compare to ensure you pick the best one for you.
Account Fees: Checking accounts often come with fees depending on the type of account. Look for an account with no monthly maintenance fees. Also, check to see if the account comes with overdraft protection in the event there isn’t enough money in the account to cover a check or withdrawal. Most banks don’t offer overdraft protection for free, and this can lead to costly mistakes if you aren’t keeping track of your balance. Talk to your banker about how to manage your account and what options are available to ensure you aren’t spending more money than you have in your account. According to money-rates.com, the average overdraft fee is $32.30 per occurrence, which can quickly eat away at your hard-earned savings.
ATM Network: Banks will charge a fee if you use an ATM outside of their network. In fact, you may be charged twice if you do! The fees will include a charge by your bank as well as a charge by the bank that owns the ATM. According to valuepenguin.com, bank ATM fees range between $2.50 to $5.00 per transaction, so choose a bank with a large ATM Network. This way you can access money close to home, school or work.
Technology offerings: You can order your coffee from your phone; therefore, wouldn’t you like to check your balance and see your account activity anytime from anywhere? Mobile banking apps help to keep you connected to your account regardless of how close you are to a branch. You can deposit checks, get important alerts about your activity, and even open a new account right from your phone. These features are all important to have, especially if you move outside of the area, or decide to attend college in another state. You can take your bank with you wherever you go.
Perks: Who doesn’t want a checking account with perks? Look for banks that offer special account incentives, such as cash for opening an account, reduced rates on automobile loans, or tuition assistance for post-secondary education. Who wouldn’t want to do business with a bank that provides financial assistance with college, simply by opening a student checking account?
Franklin Savings Bank’s Student Checking Account
What you need to open a Student Checking Account
Once you are finished researching the best student checking options, you will need a few things to open the account.
- Parent or Legal Guardian – If you are under 18, you will need a parent or legal guardian as a joint account holder.
- Student ID – A photo identification card from your high school or college.
- Birth certificate
- Social security number
- Minimum deposit – Most banks will require a minimum deposit to open an account, which can range between $10 to $50.
After you have opened your student checking account, here are a few tips to help you become a responsible customer. First, keep track of all account activity. Make a habit of checking your account activity daily to ensure there are no issues. Keep your account information secure. Select passwords and PINs that others will not be able to guess. Lastly, do not share your account information with anyone, especially if you receive an unsolicited email, text or call from someone requesting it.
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