Best Student Bank Accounts in 2022
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- Student bank accounts cater to students' need for fee-free banking.
- These accounts typically have minimal requirements and provide flexible account access.
- Student accounts at traditional banks often convert to basic bank accounts after graduation.
- Online banking services offer free accounts with perks that may appeal to students.
Students typically have different financial needs during their college years than they'll have later in life. For example, students may rely on low or no income, frequently transfer money among friends and family, and visit ATMs often.
To accommodate these needs and help introduce students to personal money management, many banks offer accounts that cater specifically to students.
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What Makes a Good Student Bank Account?
To accommodate your unique financial needs as a student, look for accounts that include:
Low or no opening deposit requirement
No monthly maintenance fees
No balance requirements
No direct deposit requirements
Online and mobile banking options
A nationwide or international account and ATM/branch access, if needed
No ATM fees
A large and widespread ATM network
An ability to continue or convert the account after you leave school
While not every perk or feature is necessary for a student bank account, some things are good to have and can help you make a final decision. For instance, you may like to have a physical branch close to both your college campus and your home. And if you can't live without your phone, look for banks that connect to a digital wallet.
10 Best Student Bank Accounts
Explore the best student bank accounts to help you manage your money efficiently and affordably. Check with these banks directly before opening an account; fees and benefits may change frequently.
Pros and Cons of Student Bank Accounts
Student bank accounts at traditional banks tend to meet students' needs for a fee-free account by stripping away banking perks like interest, bill pay options, and checkbooks. Also, they often include financial education features and safeguards like no overdrafts.
These accounts are a good way for younger students to start managing their own money. A potential drawback is that these accounts typically convert into non-student accounts with fees and financial requirements once you're no longer a student.
Students can often get these same perks with general, fee-free online and mobile banking services. These services aren't marketed specifically to students, but their features may meet students' needs. They can also grow with you after you leave school, without tacking on additional fees or requirements.
Frequently Asked Questions About Student Bank Accounts
Which bank account is best for students?
There are many student checking accounts that come with features to help you successfully manage your money and develop better saving and spending habits. Compare multiple options to find the best fit for you.
In addition to looking at fees, you should also look at eligibility requirements. Some student checking accounts have age restrictions, while others limit the number of years you can be in school while maintaining your eligibility.
Should I choose an online bank account?
Online checking accounts for students are convenient because you can manage your money online or through your smartphone. That being said, most major and regional banks have smartphone apps that offer comparable services. Take a look at the fees involved with both online and traditional banks. Also think about whether you'd prefer the option to have in-person service at a local branch.
Do I need a student bank account?
Opening a student bank account can help you manage your money. Plus, many accounts give you access to a debit card, which you can use to shop in person and online without having to use cash.
Managing your own bank account also helps you build a banking history and gives you the skills you need to avoid overdrafts and pay bills on time. While student bank accounts may have great perks tailored to your needs, you can also open a general account. Just make sure you understand the fee structure and other requirements.
How do I open a student bank account?
Most banks provide an easy online application. However, in some cases, you may need to visit a branch location. Also, expect to be asked for a photo ID and, potentially, proof of your status as a student.
Once you're approved, you can make a deposit into your new checking account. You can also create your online banking account and app login to access all of your account's digital features. Once you receive your debit card in the mail, you'll be able to activate it and start making purchases.
DISCLAIMER: The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute professional financial advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only. Readers of this website should contact a professional advisor before making decisions about financial issues.