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Beware Student Account Fees

Money Tip: Free Student Checking Accounts

Some banks can kick you when you're down, especially when you're a new college grad (yay!) and jobless (boo!). During school, it's likely that you opened a free checking account and you had four-ish blissful years without being charged. That will change when you graduate, and many banks won't send you a reminder that your account is eligible to incur a fee. There also may be minimum balance requirements you're expected to meet. Banks may waive the fee when you meet the minimum, and there are always other banking fish in the sea that may give you a better deal.


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qtpie247 qtpie247 8 years
I didn't use a college account when I was in college, thankfully my band had a 'totally free checking account'. I still managed to overdraft though! ING Direct is the way to go, in my opinion. No matter what your balance you are still eligible for interest on a monthly basis. Interest rates are pretty high too, I don't remember it off the top of my head. The best is the fact that there is no 'minimum' to open an account and you still accrue interest.
verily verily 8 years
You don't need a college account. Plenty of banks offer completely free checking accounts and they really really want you to bank with them. Some will even kick back a little interest onto you (pennies). I've used Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Washington Mutual, all for free. Each bank had its own unique idea of free however, so read the fine print and ask if there's a fee for checks or online bill pay. Or in BoA's case, a charge for using a teller inside more than like once a month (they charged if you went more often than that!). For me, WaMu was the most "free", since they don't charge an ATM fee, have free checks for life (handy when you move a lot), and provide free online bill pay.
i-am-elle i-am-elle 8 years
Glad I never opened a student checking account. I stayed with Chartway before switching over to Navy Federal... & that's where I I've been ever since! It did suck not having a Navy Fed ATM nearby, but it wasn't that big a deal since I could withdraw surcharge-free from the citibank ATMS at 7-11. :)
meumitsuki meumitsuki 8 years
I don't understand why anyone would pay fees to have a checking account (unless their SS# turned up something shady while opening the account). I have been a member of both large corporate banks and smaller credit unions and have never had to have a minimum in the checking account. All you have to do is look around, banks do compete.
staceyemd staceyemd 8 years
haha, I still use my college ID at the movies too! I mean, it's not lying if they ask me, "Do you have a student ID?" Why, yes I do! ;)
imLissy imLissy 8 years
I wasn't a student when I opened my account, but they gave me the free checking anyway b/c my student ID hadn't expired yet :D
terryt18 terryt18 8 years
I've had the same account since high school and I've never incurred a fee. But my bank offers free checking to anyone. There are perks with the other checking accounts, but they are not FREE. FREE FREE FREE I still use my student ID to get into the movies for $2 less on Thursday nights.
caligirl101 caligirl101 8 years
I have had free checking for a few years while in college, but that ran out well before I graduated. Maybe I should look into other banks that give it to new grads.
eightieslingo eightieslingo 8 years
I've had a Bank of America CampusEdge checking account for a few years now. Even when I got married and wasn't a student anymore, they let my husband join the account and we still don't have any fees. It's awesome!
wackdoodle wackdoodle 8 years
*accessed - should be assessed
wackdoodle wackdoodle 8 years
Both of my nephews are college students and neither of them or their mother thought to ask about "student checking accounts" so they were paying massive fees. I went down to SoCal and dragged them to their respective banks along with the college IDs and class schedules and asked the bank reps "do you have college student bank accounts?" "YES! Why didn't they say they were students?" Stupidity. They saw the sign and figured it didn't apply to them. My sister stood there mouth agape as the bank switch both accounts over to student accounts and refunded the fees they had been accessed for the time they had been in college. Now, my nephews call me - did you know this place offers a college student discount? Really? I didn't know that good guy for asking for it. Stay in college forever like me and you'll always get a discount boy.
SkinnyMarie SkinnyMarie 8 years
My checking was started as a free student checking account. There were no different perks between the student checking and a free checking, so mine rolled over the free checking. But honestly who gets fees on their account? I always balance my check book, and use my own banks ATMs so I have no way to gain fees.
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