Student Banking Advice


Here’s a little Q and A for anyone looking for some student banking advice.

Oh lordy, it can be a pain trying to find a bank when you’ve got other priorities like classes, studying, and the socializin’. Well, lucky you, the CFPB (Consumer Finance Protection Bureau) has some sound advice on how to go about this incredibly boring but necessary task. Don’t worry – I’ll be brief.

Here are three frequently asked questions – and answers thereto (paraphrased by moi for brevity):

  1. Q: When should you get a bank account? A: Now. Pronto. Quick-fast. Then get signed up with your school for direct deposit. Any money coming your way from the financial aid office will get to you a lot faster than their snail mail.
  2. Q: How do I avoid fees? A: Shop around and be wary of accounts marketed as “free” or “easy” (But I love free ‘n easy!). According to the CFBP “Many require minimum balances or regular direct deposit to avoid monthly fees… out-of-network ATM fees, overdraft fees, fees to use your debit card, and fees for services like online bill-pay…” Au contraire mon frere – here’s one student account that has no monthly fee for anyone 25 or younger and enrolled in college.
  3. Q: Do I have to get an account with the bank at my school? A: No sir-ee-Bob! Schools can’t require you to use their bank – that would be dictatorial. You should definitely shop around. The CFPB suggests you “Consider accounts that offer services like remote check deposits, mobile apps, and online bill-pay.” Hmmm. Sounds like the account I just mentioned up there ↑ (winky emoji). No need to thank me.

(Ok, here comes the sell.) Did I mention there’s a big ‘ol promotion going on where you can earn up to $170 when you open that there account? Did I also mention that SECU Credit Union is my employer? (I have to. Some kind of disclosure mumbo jumbo.).

Alright, now you can thank me.




Image credit: Consumer Finance Protection Bureau


About the Author ()

Melvin is the Smart Green Pig. "Smart" as in intelligent. Some would say "Super Intelligent" or perhaps "Genius". But also "Smart" as in surly and sarcastic, so watch your Ps and Qs! By the way, Melvin gets paid (quite handsomely) by SECU, so even though he's completely unbiased, some might think otherwise. Just sayin' (disclosin').

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