How can college students find the best banking plans?

As part our College Q & A guide, we decided to ask your questions to the the experts. Here are their answers.
Milne, Owner, Milne Collegiate Consulting

Unfortunately there is still no simple way to compare banking plans. Every financial institution seems to have a slightly different spin on their services, making it difficult to compare apples to apples. Your fellow students may be your best resource. Typically you want something you can access locally, without incurring transaction fees. Some banks are more student friendly than others. Location of ATMs, service fees, hours of operation, etc, are just a few of the considerations to keep in mind.

Del Valle, Founder, Academic Decisions

If you are still in high school setting up a student checking account is your best option as there are no fees and are usually tied to your parents accounts. This is really handy when you need mom or dad to text money into your account. You also should look at the credit union associated with your school. Best advice I can give is get it all handled at home before you leave for school.

Berler, Founder. unCommon Apps

There was a time when going to college meant a first checking account for students. Today there are so many flexible options for students. The year before my son went off to college, he set up an account at the same bank I use so that I could readily – and for no fee – transfer funds to him to cover expenses. A student is wise to check the websites at at least a few of the major banks to see the many options available, since the student will want to minimize fees yet have the flexibility to access cash while at college. If a student is attending college in a major city, he or she will likely find a major bank there; this is important because the student does not want to initiate fees for ATM use. If going to a more rural location, the student may want an account locally, again to not incur fees. Banks also appear at college fairs during orientation to explain options to students, and students can always check online to compare plans of various banks.

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