A checking or transaction account is essential for making payments and managing income throughout adulthood. Finding the right account is just as important. Before signing up for any account, consumers should contact multiple institutions and determine which ones are considered best for students or young adults.
It’s also important to determine which services you are most likely to use and what the related fees are, including any penalties. Some services may include: direct deposit, online banking, mobile banking, overdraft protection and ATM locations.
Reloadable prepaid cards may be tempting for young consumers but they may not offer the same federal consumer protections of a traditional checking account. Some prepaid cards may charge for making withdrawals, adding money to the card, or checking the balance even though they advertise no monthly fee.
Tips for Finding the Right Bank Account:
- Review Fees Carefully – Fees can drain an account balance quickly if not understood and monitored closely. When evaluating a potential account take note of the fees including: overdraft fees, minimum balance fees, statement fees, monthly maintenance fees, and ATM fees.
- Look for Benefits and Bonuses – Many banks offer a range free services to their customers like online bill pay, text or email alerts, mobile banking services, financial education resources and budgeting tools. Others may have special programs for young adults to encourage good financial habits. Some may specialize in car loans for young adults with little or no credit history.
- Shop Around – Once you’ve identified the services you’re most interested in start comparing institutions. Utilize company websites to compare offerings, then call or visit to ask in person. Take note of fee schedules, rate sheets, and hours of operation. Make sure to search for institutions that are insured and can keep deposits safe.
If you believe you have been victimized by a banking scam or wish to report suspicious activity, please file a report here.