How to open a student account

It’s advisable to research and find out the proper student account with the best policies, features, and rates. Have a checklist and choose the bank that ticks every feature

student account
Many banks offer general accounts that can be used by college students as well. It’s advisable to research and find out the right account with the best policies, features, and rates. Most students stumble upon overdraft fees, and sadly, they are the most expensive fee.

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You might think the best bank accounts for college students might be the accounts specified as student account. Though student accounts would offer some bonuses and features that would work well for students, many banks provide general accounts that can be used by college students as well.

Many financial institutions have deposit accounts that would be a perfect fit for college students. While some of these accounts would be ideal for students with little or no income, there are many that would charge fees. It’s advisable to research and find out the proper account with the best policies, features, and rates. Have a checklist and choose the bank that ticks every feature mentioned below.

If you are a college student planning to open a bank account, look for a student account or any account that has the following features: 

  1. Flexible overdraft policies.
  2. Widespread ATM networks.
  3. Online and mobile app banking.
  4. Favorable interest rates.
  5. No or effortlessly avoidable monthly fees.

Try to avoid any fees wherever you can. Most students stumble upon overdraft fees, and sadly, they are the most expensive fee. Moreover, statistics show that adults between the age of 18 and 25 pay a fee for overdrafts than any other age group. The following institutions have most of the features mentioned above:

Capital One 360

  • Capital One 360 is an online division of Capital One. They offer banking services without any fee. You can avail these online services at Capital One branches and Capital One 360’s Cafes. 
  • They have impressive interest rates on their checking and savings accounts if you compare them with other banks. In some locations, they also have physical help centers for in-person assistance.
  • They don’t charge a monthly fee on checking and savings accounts.
  • Suppose your debit transaction needs more money than what is in the account; in that case, the bank’s default overdraft policy will reject it at no cost. Nevertheless, they have several overdraft service options you could choose from. For standard overdrafts, they charge $35.
  • You would have access to 70,000 Capital One, MoneyPass, and Allpoint ATMs without any fee all over the country. You wouldn’t be charged even if you withdraw money from an ATM that is not part of their network; however, some ATM owners might charge a fee depending on the location.

Alliant Credit Union

  • Alliant is a credit union that has accounts that have exceptional features that can be used even after your graduation.
  • There is no monthly fee on the available checking accounts. For the regular savings account, the fee can be effortlessly avoided.
  • They have a free overdraft protection transfer policy. You don’t have to worry if you draw an overdraft, as the fee is somewhat more economical than most credit unions.
  • The standard savings account gives a great interest rate. Alliant’s High Rate Checking account also pays interest, and anyone can be eligible for the best interest rate available. You can qualify by solely having one electronic deposit for a month.
  • They have a network of more than 80,000 ATMs that doesn’t charge a fee. You get a rebate of $20 a month for out-of-network ATM fees.
  • Alliant is an online credit union. Be aware that you have to mention that you support a charity while signing up, and then Alliant would donate on your behalf.

Ally Bank

  • Ally Bank is a well-established online bank with no monthly fees and favorable interest rates on a savings account.
  • It’s an online bank that requires a computer or a smartphone for availing of banking services.
  • There is no monthly fee for checking and savings accounts.
  • They provide free overdraft transfers. Thus, if you spend money and exceed your checking account balance, the bank will cover the difference by transferring money from a linked savings account for free. If your savings account doesn’t have enough to meet the differences, you would be charged $25 as an overdraft fee once a day.
  • They have more than 43,000 ATMs without any fee all over the country.

Discover

  • Discover Bank doesn’t have students accounts. Nevertheless, the rewarding checking and savings accounts they offer can be used by students as well.
  • They don’t charge a monthly fee for checking and savings accounts.
  • The notable advantage is that you need not worry about insufficient funds or overdraft fees if you have checking, savings, or money market accounts. Moreover, you can choose a free overdraft transfer option that would meet the difference from a linked account. If the connected account does not help, the overdraft transaction would be declined.
  • Discover’s savings account’s interest rate would be ideal for students. Though the checking account doesn’t pay any interest, they offer 1% cashback (up to $3,000) for debit spending every month.
  • They have more than 60,000 ATMs that don’t charge a fee, everywhere all around the country.
  • Discover is an online bank, and you can reach the customer service on the phone at any time as they are available all 24 hours.

Golden 1 Credit Union

  • The credit union is based in California and you can join if you are from the state. However, people from other states can also sign-up. Here are the eligibility criteria for non-Californians:

1. Current member’s family member or a domestic partner can sign-up. 

2. Members of the credit union’s employer groups can sign-up. 

  • The Student Checking account (for college students 17 years old and above) has no minimum balance requirements.
  • The student checking and regular savings accounts require no monthly fees.
  • There are many overdraft policies available. If you don’t choose a policy, the credit union will decline the debit card and ATM transactions. But you should be careful if you have scheduled payments or checks and there is no sufficient balance — you would be charged a fee in such cases.
  • They have at least 30,000 ATMs that don’t charge a fee everywhere across the country. They also provide you with a free box of checks.
  • The interest rates aren’t impressive if you compare them with other online banks.

TD Bank

  • TD Bank has 1,200 locations on the East Coast in states like Delaware, Washington, D.C., Maine, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Virginia, Rhode Island, Maryland, North Carolina, Massachusetts, Vermont, South Carolina, New York, Florida, New Jersey, and New Hampshire.
  • Though TD Bank doesn’t have the most beneficial interest rates, it has perks for students on the Convenience Checking account. 
  • They don’t charge a monthly fee for students under 24 years old if they have TD Convenience Checking and the TD Simple Savings accounts.
  • Overdraft transfer fees to renew an empty checking account are ignored for students; however, if you overdraw more funds than your available balance, you would be charged the bank’s regular overdraft fees. They have an option called the default option, and choosing that option would decline the debit card and ATM transactions, without the bank charging a fee.
  • They have 1,900 ATMs in total and at least 1,200 branches along the East Coast.
  • The interest rates at TD Bank are not very significant compared to other banks.

This page is purely informational. Line does not provide financial, legal or accounting advice. This article has been prepared for informational purposes only. It is not intended to provide financial, legal or accounting advice and should not be relied on for the same. Please consult your own financial, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transactions.

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