Personal Finance for College Students
While in college it’s important to maintain your personal finances and build a credit history. As a credit union member, we care about your financial future and want to help you manage your money and find solutions that are right for you. In this section, you will learn to manage your checking account and avoid fees, create a budget, and avoid credit card debts.
Unit 1: Open a Checking Account
Student Checking Accounts
A student checking account will help you keep an eye on your finances, manage your money, build a student budget, build your credit history and pay your bills. Your checking account is free and includes free checks and a free debit card.
Opening an account is simple, but monitor your account to avoid fees:
Non-sufficient funds (NSF) is a term used to indicate that a demand for payment (a check) cannot be honored because insufficient funds are available in the account. In simplified terms, a check has been presented for clearance, but the amount written on the check exceeds the available balance in the account. It is often referred to as a bad check, or a "bounced" check.
Overdraft Fees. Overdraft occurs when withdrawals from a bank account exceed the available balance. If you have problems balancing your account or write checks often, you might consider overdraft protection which transfers available funds from your savings account, a line of credit or a credit card into your checking account if you happen to overdraft your account.
A couple things you should know about overdraft protection:
- Make sure that the savings account, line of credit or credit card has enough funds to cover the shortage in your checking account.
- A fee will be assessed if your account exceeds your available balance and overdraft protection is used.
ATM Fees. We realize you will often use your ATM card. There are no ATM fees when you use machines from our credit union, but the fees can be steep when you use machines outside our network. Fees range from $2 to $5 per transaction from banks or a minimum of $4 every time you use an ATM to withdrawal cash from non-network banks.
Online and Mobile Banking Services
Online and mobile banking allows you to do everything you can do with regular banking, but with a little more convenience and without wasting time. To manage your account, use our online services:
- Access statements, cancelled checks and transaction records 24-7-365
- Check account when you want, as often as you want
- Identify errors or unauthorized use of your account
- Account transfers
- View copies of cancelled checks
- Financial planning tutorials
- View credit card statements and pay your monthly bill online