A checking account is among the many accounts you can get in a bank or credit union. Others include savings, CDs, brokerage, and IRAs. It allows you to access your funds 24/7, either over the counter or using a debit card. It is the type of account where you should keep the money for emergencies such as illnesses, injuries, food, traveling, school fees, etc. Today I will take you through the best college student checking accounts.
Students too can open checking accounts to cater to their financial needs while studying. Even though many do not have identification documents, most banks usually accept acceptance letters issued to the students when being admitted. Furthermore, a student may open under their parent or guardian, and life continues. Whichever the case, a student account operates like any other checking account. However, student accounts where a guardian is involved have some regulations to monitor the expenditure of the teens.
Checking accounts come with debit cards that holders can use to access their money. Debit cards allow you to withdraw money from your checking account at ATM points. Some savings accounts also have debit cards, but their usage is limited to specific amounts and times within a month. Again, most debit card issuers give you rewards when you use the cards for purchases.
What is a checking account?
I have slightly highlighted what a checking account is up there. As I mentioned earlier, a checking account allows you to access your money 24/7. It is essential to keep the money for your everyday uses. Therefore, you can withdraw the funds at an ATM or over the counter.
A checking account also comes with a checkbook which you can use to write checks. A check is a written and signed document to allow a bank or credit union to withdraw money. It is usually dated to enable the cashier to determine its validity.
When you write someone a check, they take it to a bank or credit union, where they deposit or cash it out. Some mobile money apps also allow you to deposit a check online. Up to that point, I hope that the question, “what is a checking account” is well answered.
What are the requirements to open a student checking account?
There are things that you require to open an account. If you have at least 18 years, you can open one in your name if you produce the following.
- Proof of identification such as your Student ID, birth certificate, passport, driving license, or school enrollment letter
- A minimum deposit for some institutions
- Phone number
- Email address
- Physical address
If you are under 18, you require a parent or guardian to stand in for you when opening your account. Therefore, your parent/guardian must produce the following documents.
- An identification document such as passport, national ID, or driving license.
- An email address
- A phone number
- Physical address
- Social Security Number (SSN)
How to open a student account?
After assembling all that is required, you can then open one. You can open a checking account either online or at a physical branch. Various financial companies offer free online checking accounts with no opening deposit. The online opening requires you to visit the website of the concerned bank or credit union and navigate to the account opening section. After that, you can enter the necessary details per the given form.
Apart from the above details, you should also enter your name, ZIP code, city, state, and any other detail that may be required. After filling in the form, you submit and upload the necessary documents for verification. Some banks can approve your application, while others may take several hours or days.
When applying for an account in a physical branch, you fill in the form, attach photocopies of the original documents, and sign, then have your biometric details captured. You can then have your account ready or go and wait for a confirmation message.
How to use a college student checking accounts?
The following are the various ways your checking account can be helpful to you. Have a look.
i) Send money
You can send money with a checking account number instantly to accounts within the same institution like yours. In most cases, sending money to accounts within the same institution costs nothing. However, you may incur some costs when sending money to other institutions or branches, mainly if you use a wire transfer. Here, you have to send money with the routing number of the receiving institution and the recipient’s account number.
ii) Make payments
A checking account allows one to make payments for goods and services online and in physical stores. When paying online, you may send money using the account number of the business and the bank’s routing number where applicable. When checking out, you may also enter your debit card’s details on the seller’s website. It all depends on the format of accepting payments.
Another way you can make payments using your checking account is by using a check. As I mentioned earlier, banks and credit unions usually issue you a checkbook upon request. When you write a check, the payee then deposits it in their bank, and money is deducted from your checking account.
iii) Withdraw money
A checking account allows you to withdraw funds over the counter or at an ATM. When withdrawing money over the counter, you have to produce your identification document and sign the withdrawal slip and any other document. After that, the cashier deducts the necessary amount and gives you cash.
You can also withdraw money from a checking account at an ATM point using your debit card. Banks have hundreds of ATMs within the country whereby you can withdraw money. Interestingly, debit cards usually allow you to withdraw money abroad if you have an acceptable debit card across the borders. Such cards include Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express. When withdrawing at an ATM, you need your PIN to authorize the transactions.
iv) Save funds
You can easily save money with some checking accounts if you maintain a careful balance. The ones with a savings option usually attract high-interest rates compared to ordinary savings accounts. To save in a checking account, you must have high saving discipline.
What are the best college student checking accounts?
A new year is here with us, and students are going back to school. There is a need for every student to possess a checking account to use for their financial needs. Even adults without bank accounts need to open some to manage their money appropriately.
You can even look for a second chance if you have bad banking practices. One can even get a second chance of checking with no opening deposit at various financial companies.
Now back to students checking accounts. I have come up with various checking accounts suitable for students to meet their financial needs. They include the following.
1) Chase Bank College Checking Account
Chase Bank College Checking student checking accounts gives you a $100 sign-up bonus when you enroll in paperless statements and make at least ten qualifying transactions (including debit card purchases, direct deposit, and online bill payments) within 60 days of account opening. Only students up to the age of 24 can open it.
During the account application, you get a debit card that you can use to purchase goods and services. The bank has about 4,700 branches and 16,000 ATMs countrywide where you can access your money. The only disadvantage with the account is that you will have to part with $34 overdraft fees. You will also start paying monthly fees after graduation.
2) Capital One MONEY Account
Capital One MONEY is excellent for students under the age of 18. Students as young as eight years old can open the account too. Again, the account has no monthly fees, and as a student, you can receive a fee-free debit card in your name. Due to that, it is one of the best high school student checking accounts you can get today.
You can access money from over 70,000 fee-free Capital One and partner ATMs all over the country. If you are good at saving, you can get 0.10% APY (Annual Percentage Yield) on all your balances.
High school students can as well learn the benefits of saving. Another thing about the account is that the account holders do not have to close it to open a new one. You can continue with it and have it in your name.
3) Bank of America Advantage Banking
The account is checkless and also cannot overdraft as per its settings. The account has two versions of mini accounts that you can choose from. We have the Advantage SafeBalance and Advantage Plus versions of the account. Additionally, there is a minimum deposit of $25 or $100, respectively, when opening it. Also, any student under 24 gets a monthly maintenance fee waiver.
The Bank of America Advantage Banking account gives you a debit card to access money at its ATMs. If you use out-of-network ATMs, you pay a fee of $2.50. When you finish schooling, you do not have to close the account, as you can still hang around and continue enjoying the banking services of the institution. However, you will have to part with monthly maintenance fees, which are $4.95 per month for the SafeBalance account and $12 per month for Advantage Plus.
4) PNC Virtual Wallet Student Account
The account usually has a $0 minimum deposit requirement when you open the account online. You can open one online and give you three categories of sub-accounts to choose from. We have Spend’s primary checking account, an interest-earning checking account known as Reserve, and a long-term savings account called Growth. The accounts have interactive mobile tools plus PNC’s online educational articles that assist the students in their learning endeavors.
However, the account charges a $36 overdraft fee, which can be charged once per day. You get an automatic refund of your first overdraft fee. Also, the account earns you low-interest rates when you decide to save money. You will also get a debit card that you can use in over 18,000 ATMs. You will part with $3 for non-PNC ATM transactions.
5) Discover Cashback Debit Account
Discover Cashback Debit is another beautiful account for students to use for their transaction needs while in school. Even though the account is for students, anyone over 18 can open it to enjoy its features. It also comes with a debit card that you can use for your transactions. The account has no monthly fee, no minimum deposit, and charges no overdraft fees.
ATM fees are also zero when you use on-net ATMs. The bank has over 60,000 ATMs nationwide that you can use to withdraw money. Discover is one of the best online bank accounts with instant debit cards when you apply. It has no physical branches, and you can manage your account online using a smartphone or tablet.
6) BB&T Student Checking Account
The BB&T Student Checking Account usually targets ages 23 and below. It is easy to manage online with the BB&T mobile app. You can see your transaction history and your balance on the go. The app allows one to send money to others and make online purchases, and you can even use Zelle to send money to others instantly.
The account is inexpensive because it does not have a monthly fee requirement, no minimum deposit, or direct deposit requirements. However, the account is only available in 15 states of the US.
A checking account allows you to keep funds for your everyday expenditure. It comes with a debit card that you can use to access funds from your checking account at ATMs and pay for items and services. Checking accounts also come with checkbooks to write checks when making payments.
A most college student checking accounts have no monthly fees or minimum opening deposit requirement. You can open a checking account online or at a physical branch.