Even if they had a checking account or savings account as kids, most college students are still relatively new to managing their finances. Oftentimes, that means they don't get the best deal from banks, says John Iglesias, CEO of Salal Credit Union in Seattle.
"College students often don't have much of an income or an extensive credit history, so larger financial institutions may characterize them as risky, and that likely means higher fees on products," Iglesias says.
According to Iglesias, some credit unions are specifically set up by schools for students, and their business model is geared toward working with younger customers who might not keep a very high balance in their checking account.
But Shay Olivarria, author of "10 Things College Students Need to Know About Money," says credit unions also offer a real advantage to college students because they can be more forgiving if you make a mistake.
"There's a focus on financial education with credit unions, and college students have more of a support system in terms of learning about money," says Olivarria.