Money Matters: Financial tips for college students

Money Matters

Starting out at college comes with a lot of choices.

One of those areas that probably doesn’t get as much thought as it should, however, is banking services and options. 

HawaiiUSA Federal Credit Union gives us tips on how college students can save time and money by choosing the right banking services.

Tip #1: “Free checking” might not mean what you think it does.

Check the eligibility requirements and fees

When deciding on which credit union or bank to go with, make sure you get a good grasp on the types of fees and account eligibility requirements that go with it.

For example, some accounts may charge you for requesting paper statements.

Others may require you to maintain a minimum balance or require a certain number of transactions per month to avoid being assessed a fee or possibly to keep the account open.

And then there are things like overdraft fees, which are fees imposed when you overdraw, or spend more than you have in your checking account.

Over time, the accumulation of fees can really have an effect on your money.

Tip #2: Understand that student accounts aren’t forever 

Whether your student account is triggered by turning a certain age or post-graduation, know when they expire. 

Tip #3: Know what branches and ATMs are near or on campus

Accessibility to your money matters.

Look around your campus for ATMs.

Although many places take cards or even mobile wallet alternatives, there are some that still only accept cash.

But before you go to withdraw money, check to see if the ATMs are in your credit union or bank’s network.

If not, and the bank account your debit card is associated with doesn’t reimburse out-of-network-fees, you’re looking to having to pay money to get cash on top of the fee imposed for using the ATM itself by the machine owner.

Face-to-face service might also be something you really value.

That’s why it might be preferable to go with a financial institution that has a presence around your campus or maybe even on your campus.

That way you’ll have somewhere to go anytime you need help or have questions about your finances, as well as building up a relationship with them for any future financial needs—like a loan or credit card.

Tip #4: Take advantage of online and mobile banking

Between juggling school, work, and a social life trying to stay on top of your accounts can become difficult.

Finding time to do it all can feel impossible.

Technology, however, has definitely made the process easier and more manageable.

Online banking and mobile banking makes all the information you need just a click or swipe away.

Be sure to take advantage of them and enroll in whatever digital services are available to you.

To learn more about the services that HawaiiUSA Federal Credit Union offers, visit

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