When beginning the process of looking for the right student checking account, there are several things to consider.
First is the matter of convenience. Unless the student starts college with a steady job (and thus, a steady source of income), the student will not have regular access to money. This, then, falls onto the parents who will be providing their student with money, presumably on a frequent basis. Convenience is essential, especially if the child moves out-of-state for college, so it’ll be important to pick a student checking account at a bank that has branches and tellers in the two different states that the parents and student will be residing.
Additionally, it’ll be important for the bank to have conveniently located branches in the student’s college state for easy access to cash and other financial services that may need to be carried out in person.
Second are the requirements and fees that are associated with the student account. Banks that offer student checking accounts will most likely ask students for proof of enrollment to start their student checking accounts, but that will be enough to qualify for an account.
Although many regular checking accounts will have some sort of maintenance fee attached to it, student checking accounts do not. Most student checking accounts also don’t require a minimum account balance due to most students not having a steady source of income. Some banks may require that the customer deposit a minimal amount of money at the time of account opening, but different banks have different practices.
A majority of banks offer student checking account options, but there are those who don’t and instead offer accounts that mimic the perks that student accounts might get. For example, Bank of America has no student checking option, but they recommend their eBanking account to students. The account comes with fees that can be waived, but only on the condition that the account holder take certain actions like request paperless statements and avoid going to the bank teller for transactions.
When choosing a student checking account, make sure you’re aware of the potential fees and credits you can get waived.
In the next part, we’ll tell you more about the perks that come with certain student accounts.