How to Get a Student Bank Account in 2023

There are a variety of options students can choose from to store their money in college. Most banks and credit unions have accounts tailored specifically for students, as well as other “user-friendly” options that provide basic banking services.

Choosing and then opening an account can seem like a daunting task. Here are the things you should look out for when choosing an account, a list of some good options, and what you actually need once you’ve decided to open one.

Things you should consider when looking for a Bank Account:

Fees, Fees, Fees!

Fees are the bread and butter of the commercial bank. They can add up to a lot of money over time, so be careful. Every bank and bank account has  different policies, these are some you should look out for:

  1. Overdraft fee: This fee is charged when you spend more money than what you have in your account.
  2. ATM fees: Some banks charge fees for using external ATMs. Look for accounts that offer fee-free ATM usage or reimbursements.
  3. Maintenance fees: These fees are charged for the upkeep of your account. Find an account with low or no maintenance fees.
  4. Minimum balance fees: Certain accounts require a minimum balance to avoid fees. If you anticipate a fluctuating balance, consider accounts with no minimum balance requirement.
  5. Account opening and closing fees: Some banks charge a fee when you open or close an account.
  6. Transfer fees: Moving money in and out of your account may come with added costs, especially for international transactions.

Convenience is Key

Having ATMs and branches near your campus or place of work is a significant advantage. This proximity enables you to conveniently deposit and withdraw money without incurring additional costs. Besides, having nearby branches can be helpful if you encounter any issues with your account.

Online Services

Most banks offer a range of online services through their websites and mobile apps. While these services are relatively similar across banks, it’s worth exploring any specific differences. Some banks may charge for certain online services, so consider what each bank provides and how much they charge to determine what suits you best.

Seek Continuity

Whether you choose a standard or student account, you should look for a place where you will want to continue being a customer once you graduate. It’s much easier to transition from a student account to a normal one at the same bank than it is to open up a whole new account at another one.

Student Specific Accounts

Many banks offer accounts specifically tailored to the needs of high school and undergraduate students. These accounts often come with advantages such as low maintenance and transaction fees, no minimum balances, and limited overdraft. However, don’t limit yourself to student accounts alone! It’s important to shop around and compare different bank offerings to find the best fit for your needs.

The Best Options to Start Out:

Bank AccountsHighlightsMore Info
Chase College Checking No monthly service fees
Chase Quickpay available
$25 minimum deposit
More Info
TD Bank Student Checking No minimum daily balance
No monthly maintenance fee
No minimum initial deposit
No monthly maintenance fee
Overdraft available
Online banking available
More Info
Bank of America Student Checking Monthly maintenance fee waiver
Online and mobile banking available
Instant send and request feature
More Info
U.S. Bank Student Checking Account No monthly maintenance fee
No minimum balance
Free U.S. Bank ATM transactions
No U.S. Bank fee on first four non-U.S. Bank ATM transactions per statement period
A $25 opening deposit
Optional Overdraft Coverage
More Info
Santander Student Value Checking account No Monthly Fee
No minimum balance
No fee for incoming wire transfers
Mobile Banking with mobile check deposit
More Info

*On a cautionary note: be watchful of too-good-to-be-true promotions and deals. Predatory and illegitimate financial firms abound, so make sure the place you end up depositing your money in is a recognized and trusted institution.

Things you’ll need to open the account:

To successfully open a student bank account, you’ll typically need the following:

  1. Government-issued ID: Ensure you have a personal government-issued photo ID as this is usually a mandatory requirement. School-issued forms or other documents may not be accepted.
  2. Phone number and email address: Provide your up-to-date contact information.
  3. Physical address in the U.S.: Banks usually require a physical address rather than a P.O. box for account opening.
  4. Social Security Number: You’ll need your nine-digit Social Security Number issued by the Social Security Administration.
  5. Proof of Student status: Most banks and credit unions accept student IDs or official letters from the university as proof of your student status.
  6. Sufficient funds: Be prepared to cover the costs associated with opening an account, including any required minimum deposits.
  7. Additional requirements: Some banks have specific requirements for international students or other unique cases. Check if you fall into any of these categories and prepare any necessary supporting documentation.

Remember, selecting a bank and account is a significant commitment for your college years. Take the time to choose wisely, ensuring the account aligns with your financial needs and goals.

Always be cautious of scams and fake promotions—opt for recognized and trusted institutions to safeguard your money.

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