Choosing the right bank account for your college student

As your college freshman gets ready to leave the nest and embark on a new educational adventure, it’s important to choose the right financial institution to support your child’s financial welfare and goals. Here are some helpful tips from Desert Schools Federal Credit Union to get your student pointed in the right direction:

1. Free is Key

As most college students will undoubtedly be budget conscious, their chosen financial institution should offer basic products at no charge. A checking account with only a small minimum balance with no maintenance fee, free debit card, free online banking and free ATM access are the most basic things to look for. No money transfer fees and no fees for checks win bonus points. Encourage them to do the research and legwork on a minimum of three institutions, and that they understand any requirements that may be associated with the account and how overdraft fees work, as well.

2. Evaluate ATM Convenience

While the thought of your teenager having unlimited access to ATM’s far, far away might ignite fear in your heart, it’s imperative they have access to their money in ways that don’t accumulate additional fees. While large national banks will generally have the largest ATM network, they can also look to regional banks or local credit unions that offer shared branch networks and access to additional ATM locations nationwide.

3. Teach them to track their spending

With online and mobile banking, the tendency to dismiss old school ways of tracking spending can be easy. But old school works. With check registers becoming a thing of the past, encourage your kids to print out a ledger to track their spending to avoid overdrafts and the dreaded accompanying fees.

4. Impart wisdom on why they should pay themselves first

If they haven’t been taught already, working to teach them the value of paying themselves first is a valuable lesson. Even if it’s a nominal amount, the principle itself can go a long way in showing the value in having savings on a rainy day.

With some preparation and solid planning, your young adult can be on the road to financial freedom and success in no time. 

Trying to stay financially fit? Check out more money-saving stories in our Financial Fitness Zone .

The information listed may not reflect the capabilities or practices at Desert Schools Federal Credit Union, but is rather meant to serve as a unbiased advisement and support of the financial health of our community.

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