Desert Schools on selecting and managing bank accounts for college kids

Posted at 8:53 AM, Aug 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-16 13:40:49-04

Desert Schools Federal Credit Union a paid advertiser of Sonoran Living

As college freshmen gear up to leave the comfort and security of home, it may also mean leaving the comfort and security of having parents around to help with any financial faux pas or mistakes. For many, leaving home means their first shot at financial independence when it comes to having their own checking account.

For those students who are moving far from home, it's especially important for them to have a financial institution nearby for convenience purposes, but what are the most important factors for college freshmen to consider when choosing a bank or credit union, and how do you teach them to manage their account(s) responsibly?

Read on for tips from experts at Desert Schools Federal Credit Union on how to prepare your child to manage his or her first checking account.

1. Look for FREE
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.

Preparing your child for financial success while away at school can be achieved through education and solid planning. For additional information on checking or savings accounts to fit your child's needs, call the experts at Desert Schools Federal Credit Union at (602) 433-7000.

Desert Schools Federal Credit Union a paid advertiser of Sonoran Living