Credit Card Andy

Teaching the Basics of Personal Finance

Bye Bye Student Account

Before telling you about the checking account I use and why I use it, I wanted to make you aware of your student bank accounts.

Did you know your student checking/savings account is converted to a regular checking/savings account after graduation? Did you even know that your bank accounts were special student accounts?

It’s likely you’re enrolled in a bank account targeted for students. These accounts typically have small/no balance requirements, small/no fees, and are forgiving on mistakes like overdrafts.

These are like teaser bank accounts. They are great for the 4 years you use them while in school, but after some time (in Bank of America’s case 5 years after the account opening date) your account is automatically converted to a regular account.

Why does it matter?

These accounts come with more fees, higher balance requirements, and are less forgiving. Banks are hoping that after several years of banking with them you’ll feel too comfortable to even considering moving your money elsewhere.

Don’t be fooled, you have options. It is quite easy to move your money from one bank to another. It’s especially easy when you’re younger and don’t even have much to move. There’s also no rule that says you can’t have multiple checking/savings accounts.

An example

I currently have a student “CampusEdge” checking account with Bank of America. Like I mentioned earlier, it gets converted to a typical “MyAccess” checking account 5 years after the date my account was created. The “MyAccess” checking account charges a monthly fee unless I meet a minimum balance requirement or direct deposit. They also have a lower-tiered account with a lower monthly fee and fewer services.

The take away message is, be aware that the features and requirements of this newly converted account may differ from the ones you are used to. I simplified my example a bit. There are more changes going from a student to regular checking account, but they are small. Read the fine print and make sure you’re okay with all of the changes.

All in all I could probably swallow the conversion. I wouldn’t end up paying a monthly fee because I plan on directing direct deposits into the account. In my next post, I’ll discuss why even though you may be okay being converted up to a regular account from your student account, you may still want to consider alternatives.

Any questions?