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Student Checking Accounts

Opening and managing a checking account is an important student money management lesson. For many college students, having a checking account is a new experience. Learning how to balance and manage a checking account is a great way to develop basic money management skills.

Many banks offer free checking accounts for students. As soon as you get your student ID card, you will be able to apply for one of these accounts. When you are researching your options, look for a student account that is truly free. The best accounts require small opening balances, do not charge for printed checks, do not charge a monthly maintenance fee and do not accumulate fees for debit or card transactions. Be careful of "hidden costs" or offers that sound too good to be true.

Questions to Ask When Opening a Student Checking Account

  • Does the account include overdraft protection?
  • How much money is required to open the account?
  • Is there a monthly fee?
  • Is there a transaction fee for debit card transactions?
  • Is there a charge for withdrawing money from an ATM machine?
  • What is the fee, if any, for checks?
  • Will I have 24/7 access to telephone banking?
  • Will I have access to online banking? Is there a fee?
  • Will I receive statements via mail or electronically?

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