Look into the Alabama Credit Union. We're members of a credit union here in town, and were hoping to find one at Bama. Lucky us! We took care of opening an account for son while we were at Bama Bound. There's ATMs on campus, too, so she won't have to search for cash. There's an office in the Ferg, and there's also an office on University, next to, you guessed it, Arby's.
The credit union is good also because of the shared branches feature.
You can go to their website and find a shared branch credit union that is convenient for you in your area, no matter the state, and deposit the funds there, as long as you have your child's account number.
I do believe that shared branches do put a hold on some funds, particular, checks, so if there's an emergency, you may need to do a wire transfer.
Now, this may not be enough for those fashionable young ladies out there, but it's good for groceries and meals out where you can reserve your bama cash for the laundry.
Call the credit union to make sure of this, because I'm not sure on this.
Son deposited paychecks last summer at a shared branch and I seem to remember that his funds were not immediately available to him.
The credit union also has overdraft protection and also offers a 300 dollar credit limit credit card for the kids, to help them establish credit in their name, without building up a huge credit card debt.
For those of you who have Regions as your bank, there is a Regions bank very close to the Capstone Hotel and St. Francis Catholic Church. The other religious services are in the same area, sometimes referred to as the God Quad. I don't know if there's a Regions ATM in the Ferg. Maybe someone else can pipe in. But at least it's "on campus" and your child won't have to get a ride to do their banking.
Couldn't get you a direct link, not computer savvy, but if you google Alabama Credit Union and go to their website, there's lots of great info on there.
We did not do this before going to Bama Bound, so didn't know it was there.
If you go to membership and scroll down, there's actually a BamaBound tab with lots of tips to help things go faster when you get there.
There is also a tab called locations that has the credit union service centers, which will help you look up a shared branch location.
It looks like there's more stuff available than we got, like checks. We didn't get checks since he'll be living on campus with a meal plan,but did get a debit card, and his credit card will come in the mail later.
A suggestion. My husband was taking care of the credit union while I did other things, and luckily, I walked up before they finished and asked to be put on the account as well. I don't think it's an Or account, but I have access and authorization. I think it's a good idea for both parents to have authorization in case one is unavailable in case of an emergency.
If you check the alabama credit union website, it also lists locations of the ATMs. There's one in the Ferg, but I think there's also one in the rec center, too.
Speaking of "banking" options at the Ferg, there is also an Action Card kiosk there as well where you can check balances, add money to your account, etc. It's next to a copy machine near the credit union.
When I first looked, I was honestly surprised that there were no Chase or Bank of America branches in Tuscaloosa. I think Wachovia is now part of Wells Fargo, but that is the extent of national banks I know of. Regions and a couple other banks (along with Alabama CU) have ATM's on the back side of the Ferg.
Outside of Publix is a 24 hour ATM that is free for members of the institutions listed at Publix Presto! Network Members . Of course, one can always get cash back inside the store.
I know that Alabama CU has a list somewhere of long it takes certain types of checks to clear and it is also based on how long the account has been open. Payroll checks do clear instantly, as do electronic transfers.
On Get on Board Day, all the local banks will be out soliciting new memberships, but some may require a cosigner if the student is under 19.
Action Card balances can also be checked online and added to via credit card (min $10 each time).
We opened an account at the Alabama Credit Union. We took out the credit card protection for my S to start building some credit. We bank at Wachovia and the ACU suggested we add my S's account on our online billpay. We just transfer money to his account as we are paying a bill. They do not put a hold on a transfer done this way.
we are going to just stick with BofA since that is what our whole family uses (we have our home checking account linked up to all our kids's college debit cards so we can add money for purchasing books,etc). I figure there should be enough local stores like publix to get cash back when needed -- and a debit card should work for the rest of the time.