Digital banking is everywhere. We use our phones to send money to friends and family, check how much we have in our account, use a card to get cash from an ATM, pay using a digital wallet and so much more. All those services are a great convenience. Just remember, they all start with responsible management of a bank account.
Maybe you’re just entering college and need an account to pay for your books, supplies and even some fun with friends. You might have a joint account with your parents or another adult and feel like you’re ready to handle your own account. Having an account in your own name means you have more flexibility and independence when it comes to how you spend and save your money. It also means you have more responsibility.
Top reasons to open a Student Checking Account:
Safety. Most student checking accounts include a free debit card so you can pay for purchases using the card, your digital wallet or check. You won’t have to carry a lot of cash that can be taken from your backpack or purse. If you keep cash in your dorm room or somewhere else where it can be easily stolen or lost, and once it’s gone, it’s gone.
Build your credit. When you manage the money in your checking account wisely, you’re building your credit profile. Using online services like Bill Pay to pay your bills on time and making sure you don’t spend more than you have in the account shows you handle your finances responsibly and that can increase your credit score. A higher credit score can make it easier to qualify for a car loan or credit card. Plus, a landlord will your check credit score when reviewing a rental application because they want to feel confident you’re going to pay the rent on time.
Convenient access to your money. A free debit is just one checking account convenience. You can ask your employer to instantly deposit your paycheck into your account using Direct Deposit. Of course, if you need cash, you can ask for cash back when making a purchase or visit an ATM. And yes, you can even write a check!
Create and stick to a budget. It’s your money, so spend it wisely. Write down how much money each month you will deposit into your account, like your paycheck or money your parents might send you to cover expenses. Next, write down your monthly “must pay” expenses like rent, utilities, school expenses and bus or train fare to get to school or work. Do you have enough in your account to pay your bills? If not, don’t buy things you can’t afford because if you take too much money out of your account – called an overdraft – the bank can charge you fees that could really add up. Online and mobile banking make it easy to check your account balance when you’re on the go, so you’ll know if it’s OK to splurge a little on that supersized latte or opt for the small size smoothie instead.
Banking Options for Students
You may have decided a student checking account is right for you. Here are some of the features to look for in a student checking when comparing accounts:
- Online Banking so you can monitor your account on your computer to check your balance, see when money has been deposited, view recent transactions like purchases made with your debit card and set up alerts to get an email or text when there is activity in your account. Look for online eStatements to save paper – you won’t have to wait for the mail or worry about recycling paper statements and envelopes.
- Online Bill Pay so you can set up payments in advance, even automatic payments for regular bills like rent, and always pay on time. You’ll save the time and expense of writing and mailing a check and avoid mail delays, too.
- Mobile Banking app that gives you a lot of the same features and benefits of Online Banking, plus the convenience of logging in to your account on the go when you’re between classes, studying late or hanging out with friends.
- Mobile Check Deposit is a common app service so you can deposit a check with a few taps on your mobile device without having to visit the bank.
- Zelle® to send and receive money with family, friends, and others you trust. Split the bill with friends and the money moves from your account to theirs in minutes. Or get paid for dog sitting, tutoring another student or a side gig and get money into your account fast.
- Debit card for your digital wallet so you can securely pay for purchases online or in person without having to write a check or pay in cash. The funds are immediately taken out of your account, so make sure you have enough money in your account to cover the expense.
At Amerant, we’re here to help you get started on the right financial track to smart money management. Check out our Student Checking and get all the features and benefits a student on the go like you needs for a great start on your financial journey!
Available to U.S. residents ages 18 to 24 who are enrolled in a college or university. Students can open a Student Checking account online or at a branch with government-issued photo ID, SSN, student ID and name of school and expected graduation date. Click here for details and to open your account today.