As a college student, you’re an adult now, and that means you’re in charge of your own financial actions. This means it’s time to get a checking account, a credit card, a loan, and everything else that an adult does. Not only is this going to teach you responsibility, it’s going to motivate you to make money, so that you can pay off all of these debts.
This is why I always laugh at people I know that are 26 and still living at home. You still don’t have any responsibilities, you make next to no money, and there’s no motiavation to move on in life. I don’t get why people do this, but moving out on my own was the best thing I’ve ever done. It made me work harder, and respect the value of the dollar a lot more.
Now, not to get off subject, but what brings me to writing my post today is about student checking and how it can help you when it comes down to savings. I wanted to point out the pros and cons when it comes to signing up at your local bank.
The pros of having a student checking account
Store your money in a safe place: Anyone will tell you that storing your money in the bank is a lot safer than keeping it under your mattress. Always make sure that you stay under the FDIC limit, of course. Right now, it’s $250,000, and this will stay in effect until January 2010. After 2010, it’s supposed to go back down to $100,000.
Write checks / pay bills: The nice thing about having a checking account is that you’re able to pay your bills online, or you’ll have your own check book. This is great if you have monthly bills coming in such as your cell phone bill, car payment, or whatever else you have to pay month by month.
Little or no fees: Most banks are nice when it comes to students. They will most likely let you open up an account with no fees. They want to make sure that you’re a customer with them for life. Seeing that banks make a lot of their money with fees, etc, you want to find a bank that treats you good, and charges as little as possible when it comes to your account.
The cons of having a student checking account
No interest: Since most checking accounts work this way, you’ll find that you’re not going to make money on your money. If you’re looking to do this, you will want to open up a money market account. This is good for those students that don’t want to touch their money. Money market accounts usually have a higher interest rate, and will yield a better percentage compared to your average checking or savings.
May need a history: Some banks are strict when it comes to opening an account. If you don’t have a credit history, you may find that they won’t want to open an account for you. As funny as it sounds, even though you want to give them money, they may judge you solely on your credit score.
Fees in the future: You may find that the checking account looks great today, but you have to look into the future as well. If the account looks good on paper today, how will it look in the future? Some banks will lure you in as a student, and then charge you a lot more in fees when you graduate to a new account. Always make sure you look at the future accounts as well.