Students don't often have a regular source of income, so it's important to make sure their balances can go low without penalty, says Ken Cyree, a professor of finance at the University of Mississippi in Oxford.
Customers should look for a student checking account that doesn't charge fees if the balance drops below a high number such as $500, he says. Of course, all this assumes the account does not get overdrawn. "If you bounce checks, the fees will add up," he says.
As an alternative, some banks will require a low minimum balance to open an account -- such as $50 -- but then won't require a minimum amount to maintain the account, Cyree says.