For banks and credit unions, students are good for business. When a high school or college student opens a checking account at a financial institution, there's a good chance he or she will be a customer for life.
To provide an incentive to open an account, many banks and credit unions offer student checking accounts that give extra benefits to young adults who are just starting their financial journey, says June Walbert, a CFP with USAA in San Antonio.
For example, students who offer proof they're enrolled in an educational institution by showing a school-issued ID can open up student checking accounts with a low minimum balance, minimized fees and "forgiveness" plans that let them avoid a penalty if they overdraw their account for the first time, she says.
Walbert believes it's worthwhile to search for a bank that's a good match. "Parents or students should really look closely in order to understand what kind of checking account to get," she says.
Here are five basic student checking features Walbert and other financial experts say students should look for before opening an account.