Life in the Real World

A College Student’s Guide To The Best Banks

As you get older, managing your money becomes a much more important aspect of your life. Let’s be real, that two dollar weekly allowance you had when you were 8 didn’t stay in your piggy bank for very long. Hopefully ten years later you have some sort of job with a consistent paycheck… and hopefully your banking that paycheck. I know, you want that purse you saw in the store last week, and honestly, you probably deserve it. Or you convince yourself one more coffee won’t break the bank but trust me… it will. You’ll regret these impulse purchases later. BUT, if for some reason you’re not banking those paychecks (I’m looking at you over there thinking you can outsmart the IRS.) You can’t. Quit while you’re ahead. Start a checking account. Better yet, start a savings account. Make your money hard to access, that way you won’t be tempted to spend it on a whim. Here are 8 of the best banks for college students that will you help you achieve your financial goals.

Most banks offer student checking and/or savings accounts with special benefits you wouldn’t get otherwise. So take advantage of these best banks for college students while you can!

Bank of America

Minimum deposit needed to open account: $0

Eligibility: Any student 23 years of age or younger enrolled in a high school, college, university or vocational program.

Monthly fee: None

Other notable features include mobile banking, direct deposit, ATM cards with chip technology and FDIC backing. Numerous ATM and financial centers located around the country give you easier access to your money.

U.S Bank

Minimum deposit needed to open account: $25

Eligibility: College student of at least 18 years of age.

Monthly fee: $0

Other notable features include access to online and mobile banking. Your first order of personal checks will be free.

Chase Bank

Minimum deposit needed to open account: Unclear

Eligibility: Any active college student between the ages of 17-24.

Monthly fee: $6

Chase Bank will waive the monthly service fee for five years while you are in school, though you must provide documentation proving your status as a student. You can also avoid the fee with a direct deposit made to this account. Eligible direct deposits can be an ACH credit, payroll, pension or government benefits such as Social Security,  or maintaining a daily balance of $5,000 or more in the account.

Other notable features include access to a number of ATMs both national and international, as well as various bank establishments throughout the country. Their mobile bank app allows for money transfers and bill payments.

SunTrust

Minimum deposit needed to open account: $100

Eligibility: Students.

Monthly fee: $4

To avoid this fee, you must either maintain a daily balance of $300 minimum, have a monthly payroll direct deposit of $100 or more, or link a parent/guardian SunTrust personal checking account with a $300 minimum daily collected balance.

Other notable features include mobile banking and compatibility with Apple and Samsung Pay.

USAA

Minimum deposit needed to open account: $0

Eligibility: Students.

Monthly fee: $0

Other notable features include free direct deposit as well as free electronic transfers and bill payments. Users also have access to a mobile banking app, compatible with Apple Pay, Google Play and Samsung Pay, send money with Zelle. It can be hard to find the best banks for college students, but with a little research, you can find the one that’s right for you.

Wells Fargo

Minimum deposit needed to open account: $25

Eligibility: College students aged 17-24.

See Also

Monthly fee: $5

Though that is half the price of a regular checking account, it can still be enough to turn a student on a tight budget away. There are ways to get around this fee though, which include qualifying direct deposits totaling $500 or more during each fee period, maintaining a daily balance of $1,500, or having 10 or more posted debit card purchases or payments.

Other notable features include mobile banking services through their app and a debit card with chip technology.

TD Bank

Minimum deposit needed to open account: $0

Eligibility: Full-time students under the age of 24.

Monthly fee: $0

No minimum daily balance is required.

Other notable features include online and mobile banking, free bill pay with e-bills, live customer service 24/7. Another incentive that TD Bank offers to those with student checking accounts is waiving the monthly maintenance fee on a TD Simple Savings account when linked with a TD Student Checking account.

Regions Bank

Minimum deposit needed to open account: $50

Eligibility: Students 25 years of age or younger.

Monthly fee: $0

Other notable features include online and mobile banking and compatibility with Google Pay, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Visa Checkout.

What do you think are the best banks for college students? Let us know in the comments below!
Featured image source: weheartit.com
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Jaclyn Vlahos

Jackie graduated from Merrimack College in 2016 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications and a minor in Public and Professional Writing. With a wide range of experiences including an internship with Seventeen and Cosmopolitan Magazines along with running her own business, Jackie is well versed in the professional world of media and publishing. You can find her in the corner eating pizza.

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