HOW TO PICK A COLLEGE BANK ACCOUNT AS CAREFULLY AS YOUR COLLEGE By Spencer Tierney Attending college can get pricey, so you’ll want to avoid costs from other places — like your bank account. More than 668,000 students paid nearly $15.5 million in bank account costs in a year, an average of almost $26 per person, according to a 2022 report by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. What’s worse is that some colleges endorse costly bank accounts as part of their partnerships with banks. “Do not assume that because your college or university partners with a bank, that bank is offering you a good deal,” Aaron Klein, senior fellow in economic studies at the Brookings Institution, said in an email. Before heading off to college, consider what factors you need in a college checking account. There’s no grade on this, but the wrong bank can cost you. Decide what features matter Checking accounts work similarly wherever you bank, but some features vary or aren’t available at every bank, including branches, highly rated mobile apps, certain account fees and perks such as direct deposit up to two days early. Decide a few things going in, like whether you need a bank that offers joint bank accounts to share finances with a parent and whether you’ll want credit cards or other loan options at the same place.
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