I know, I know…you don’t want to think about “back to school” yet – it feels like school just let out for the summer! However, if you’ll think about it for just a few minutes and get this bit of financial housekeeping in order, then you can go back to your summer playtime!
As you prepare for going to school again in the fall, one of the essential items on your list should be opening a bank account. It’s helpful to have an account at a bank that is local in your college town for easy access when paying for books, food, and fun. Ideally, the bank you choose is also convenient for you in your hometown so that you can always access your money.
To start out, I recommend that you open a checking account at a bank of your choosing. There are plenty of banks that offer free checking accounts (they usually don’t pay any interest, but they also don’t charge any fees or have minimum balances). You want to look for one of these.
Here are a few questions to ask when looking for a checking account that’s right for you:
- What kind of overdraft protection is available (a savings account or credit card are normal answers)?
- Is there a fee for this account?
- What are the other fees, such as ATM fees?
- Do you have a minimum balance requirement?
- Do you charge transaction fees?
- Do your checking accounts earn interest?
If you’re interested in keeping your money at one bank for home and school (assuming that you don’t go to school in the same region as your hometown), start by looking into national banks such as Wells Fargo, Capital One, and Bank of America. They have a variety of account options to explore and will likely have branches in your hometown and college town.
These days with finances going digital, online banks such as Capital One 360, Nation Bank, and Ally Bank are a few more banks to consider. You can still perform all the same transactions that you can with traditional banks, but there is no store front to visit. For example, to make a deposit, you can usually take a picture of the check with your phone camera and submit that to the bank.
I wrote a little more in depth about what I like about Capital One 360 in this post, and if you’d like to open an account, please consider using this link: https://r.capitalone360.com/PWBs7SgWpH If you open an account with $250 or more, both you and I will get a bonus! It’s a win-win for everyone! 🙂
Regardless of which bank you choose, the important thing is that you set up an account for yourself so that you’re all set when it comes time to go back to school.
Ok, enough of that school talk – get back to your summertime playing!
Fun fact for today – Bank of North America was the first chartered bank in the USA – it was chartered in 1781 and opened in 1782. It was our nation’s first central bank. (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bank_of_North_America).