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How to bank: Choosing a bank

Not all banks are equal when it comes to student accounts, so do the research to find a bank that is a good fit for you.

Choose a bank that’s best for you.

  • Does it offer student plans with free or low-fee checking?
  • Does it have 24-hour customer service in case something goes wrong?
  • How accessible are the branches, ATMs, or partner ATMs?

Consider a credit union.

Credit unions offer many of the same services as banks such as checking accounts, savings accounts, personal loans, and credit cards. Credit unions are owned by their members and offer share accounts as savings accounts.

Choose a checking account that’s right for you.

  • A debit account offers the ease of a credit card for purchases, but the money comes from your account directly, instead of encouraging borrowing.
  • Can your checking account be linked to a savings account for easy transfer of funds?
  • Does your account require maintaining a minimum balance? Falling below a minimum can yield higher fees or limited account access.

Add a savings account.

  • How easy is it for you to make deposits? Can you make deposits online or via a mobile app?
  • How much interest does the account earn?
  • Can you link it to your checking account?
  • Can you arrange recurring automated transactions (deposits or transfers)?