If you’re looking at getting a bank account as a student, there are some questions you’re going to need to ask that might not align with questions you’ll ask when you get a bank account during other periods of your life. Student debt can really change how your bank, which means it’s important that you get a bank account that understands this. Here are five ways you can bank a little more effectively as a student.
1. Find a Provider Without Account Minimums
Account minimums can be a real struggle for people who don’t have a lot of disposable income. If you’re regularly trying to put as much of your money as possible toward paying off student debts, you’re likely going to have a pretty low amount of money in your bank account at any given time. No account minimums mean no fees when your account is under a specific dollar amount.
2. Look at Percentages of Interest
On the other hand, if you do want to store some money away, you want to make sure it’s not just sitting uselessly in a checking account. Interest can help you save some extra money just by holding it in your account. Higher percentages of interest are always going to be better, and they can save you a surprising amount over time.
3. Check How Fees Work With Your Bank
Is your bank going to charge you overdraft fees, ATM fees, or foreign transaction fees? Are there any monthly maintenance fees that you need to think about? What about any other fees you may not have expected? Lower fees, of course, are always better, and it’s a good idea to look for an account that has the lowest fees possible overall.
4. Look for the ATMs You Can Use
ATMs are an incredibly effective way to get cash very easily, without having to go to a physical bank. Many banks consider certain ATMs “in-network”, which means you don’t have to pay any fees to withdraw money from these ATMs. See whether you can find a bank with a large variety of in-network ATMs for easier cash withdrawal.
5. See Whether You Can Get a Sign-On Bonus
A sign-on bonus can help you get a significant amount of money to start your account off with. Plus, you can choose whether you want to stash that money away for emergencies, treat it as party money, or put it directly toward paying off your student loans. Consider a Sofi bank account and find the best sign-on bonuses for any student.
Your bank can actually play a crucial role in helping you through your student years as long as you know how. It’s important to make sure that you’re thinking about whether your bank is helping or hurting you in the long run. With these five questions, which you can ask before you ever open a bank account, you can make sure you’re getting a great bank account for student banking.