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Finding the best student checking account

Student accounts offer high-tech features
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Student accounts offer high-tech features

Student checking accounts generally feature online bill pay, online statements and the ability to set up text and email alerts if the balance drops below a certain limit, Walbert says.

These mobile banking features lessen the reliance on needing to be physically close to a branch, she says. That's important for students, especially if they live in one town during the school year and somewhere else during the summer.

"Many college students are armed these days with a smartphone. So if they can access their account information and make transactions from their mobile phone, it can give them flexibility in managing the money they need," Walbert says.

In addition to mobile banking, students should look for the ability to set up a schedule to automatically move money from one account, such as checking, to another, such as savings, at regular intervals, says Casey Weade, a CFP and vice president of Howard Bailey Financial in Asheville, N.C.

This feature can help young adults build up an emergency fund with little effort. "Being able to set up automatic transfers online is a benefit for someone who is trying to save money," he says.


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