What to Know About Managing Your First College Checking Account

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When it comes to college, managing your money is a hot topic (and for good reason). Textbooks, meal plans, tuition...the list of expenses you’ll face during your time as a student goes on TBH. Beginning your college career also means thinking a little bit about your college finances: Should I get an on-campus job? Can I afford to study abroad? How will I save up for that big Spring Break trip? Dreaming big means planning big — making sure you have a financial plan on deck is key.

A great first step into the world of financial independence is opening up a checking account during college. Checking accounts can give you the power to have visibility over your spending, helping you keep your income and your expenses organized.

We get it — managing money for the first time can feel a little overwhelming. Thankfully, you don’t have to go about your money matters alone. Chase helps ease the anxiety that can come with managing your money by getting you equipped with all the financial help you may need along the way. The Chase College Checking℠ account is a great option for new college students beginning to take charge of their own finances. Before getting started, here are the super useful features the Chase College CheckingSM account has to make #adulting easier.

Take advantage of mobile banking

Having your financial information right at your fingertips is everything. Sometimes, you need an on-the-go update on your money status (and you need it fast). While mobile banking is convenient for checking up on your account balance, the Chase Mobile® App can do so much more. From keeping track of your purchases, to easily depositing a check from your parents, mobile banking is a must-have tool when managing your checking account.

The Chase Mobile® Banking app also makes it easy to split expenses between all of your friends. Whether you’re splitting the bill at a restaurant or buying a textbook from a friend, Chase QuickPay® with Zelle® is available right in the app and simplifies the entire process of splitting purchases and sending money to friends in just moments.

Understanding and avoiding fees

Opening up your first checking account is definitely an exciting step into adulthood, but it’s important to keep in mind some of the guidelines that come along with it. Managing important deadlines and understanding the rules that come with your account are just two ways to help steer clear of these fees. Here are the fees that Chase can help you avoid:

             Choose an account with no monthly fee

Several checking account plans require monthly service fees. However, you can sometimes avoid these fees simply by meeting a few requirements. For example, with a Chase College Checking℠ account, qualifying college students 17 to 24 years old won’t have to face a monthly service fee for up to 5 years (hooray!). Avoiding these fees can help save money for all of your student expenses (including those late-night food runs).

             Watch overdraft fees

This is when keeping a close eye on your account balance comes in handy. Many banks charge overdraft fees when your account doesn’t have enough money to cover, let’s say, an online textbook purchase or a monthly subscription to a music streaming service. To avoid overdrawing your account, we suggest enrolling in Chase’s low balance alerts. Whenever your account balance is low, they’ll send you a convenient reminder based on the amount you choose, so you can transfer money over when it’s necessary. You can also sign up for overdraft protection, where Chase links your checking and savings account together in order to have backup funds if your checking account is low.

             Avoid ATM fees

While you’re exploring your campus for the first time and scoping out where your classes will be, take some time to find the ATMs on campus. College campuses typically have a few ATMs scattered about or by your campus’ student union. If those ATMs are not your bank’s ATMs, you may find yourself paying ATM fees that can add up over time. So be sure to use your bank’s ATM locator (like Chase’s) to help avoid those pesky fees.

Monitor your account

This may sound pretty obvious but don’t forget to check up on your account statements fairly frequently. We know things can get pretty hectic on campus, whether it’s juggling your involvement in your sorority or studying tirelessly for upcoming exams. Take some time out from your busy schedule, even if it’s just a quick 10 minutes, to breeze through your account statements (you can even do this on the Chase Mobile® app!) and ensure that all your transactions are accurate. If you see something unusual, be proactive and contact your bank to report it immediately. The sooner you take care of it, the better.

Adulting may be hard but taking control of your finances doesn’t have to be. See how Chase can assist you in all your future money endeavors!


JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. Member FDIC