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Student Banking Advice

appzillaappzilla 81 replies26 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 107 Junior Member
edited June 2013 in University of Virginia
I wonder if anyone can recommend the best bank to use at UVA. I'll be a First Year and want to set up my account now. Ideally I would want free ATMs on grounds, free checking/no account fees and a national bank so I can deposit when I am home in WI. Thanks!
edited June 2013
24 replies
Post edited by appzilla on
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Replies to: Student Banking Advice

  • hazelorbhazelorb 3192 replies48 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,240 Senior Member
  • travelmamatravelmama 36 replies9 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 45 Junior Member
    Bank of America ATM at student store as well as a branch located on the corner. (with ATM)
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  • ChemUndergradChemUndergrad 21 replies2 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 23 New Member
    Definitely Bank of America, as the poster above me stated. I did the same thing the summer before my first year. Most of the ATMs around Grouns/the Corner are Bank of America.
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  • Dean JDean J 4457 replies64 discussionsCollege Rep Posts: 4,521 Senior Member
    BoA is definitely the easiest to use, but there are other options.

    I've been meaning to check to see what kind of ATM is on the 2nd floor of Newcomb now that it's back open. I'll go see tomorrow.
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  • charlieschmcharlieschm 4096 replies186 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 4,282 Senior Member
    My son has done fine keeping his out of state bank, which has much lower fees than the multinational banks in Cville. Students mainly use debit cards for most purchases.

    Another option is to join the UVa credit union, which has ATMs on-grounds. Some people keep their hometown bank for their main account and then start a smaller account with the credit union for ATM use.
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  • h00rayh00ray 16 replies0 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 16 New Member
    Bank of America is popular with many students, but I used Wachovia/Wells Fargo for all four years without few issues. During Newcomb renovations there was a brief period where no Wells Fargo ATM was available, but it's back now.
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  • shoebox10shoebox10 3394 replies165 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,559 Senior Member
    Look into PNC. The online banking system is fabulous, and they'll refund ATM fees up to $9/month, which is essentially three withdrawels.

    Ok, time to get on my old-fart-but-not-your-parents-soapbox: I may throw out the suggestion for people to either a) look at using your debit card instead of cash (I'll explain this later) and see if you can get a rewards card b) get a credit card with a low limit BUT you MUST pay it off each month

    Why?
    a) Carrying cash around is an easy way to lose it, get it stolen, or blow through it. I find that when I use plastic, I'm constantly wondering if I'm over budget for the month, how much is my balance (I use credit for everything these days), etc etc. Cash, I just know there's always more somewhere..backwards thinking, I know

    b) Credit is getting tight these days and unfortunately, most big things in your life can come easily due to having a good credit history. If you start a credit card at 18, by the time you're my age, you have 5 years of solid history (as long as you pay things off) and can get the best mortgage rates, get cards that give you great return, etc etc.

    Now, take this with a grain of salt, because most 18 year olds (if not all now) can't run out and get a credit card. I don't think every 18 year old should get a credit card either, at least not for regular use. However, I highly suggest by the time you hit 20, get one with a low limit and figure out how it all works. If buying a car or a house after college is in your mind, definitely start early if you can.
    Parents, this (co-signing on a card) was the best thing that they did for me. I now have great, established credit and am looking at top mortgage rates and a student loan would be easy as cake to get on my own (not going down that route, but looked into it in case..). Even consider putting them as an authorized user on your own card and reap the rewards yourself =P You can cancel the card at any sign of abuse
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  • shoebox10shoebox10 3394 replies165 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,559 Senior Member
    Also, for anyone interested in a budgeting tool, look into You Need a Budget (YNAB). It's a great piece of software that you can use on your phone or computer (parents, grad/going away gift?). You can use the comp app to set up your budget, then download the free app and keep track of spending/earnings on the go.

    PM me if you want a discount code, I think I have some lying around in my inbox

    Disclaimer: I don't work for them, don't get any deal off of it, etc etc. I think a few people on here can vouch for that :)
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  • charlieschmcharlieschm 4096 replies186 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 4,282 Senior Member
    One word of warning - most debit cards do not have protection against fraud. Someone could empty out your entire bank account, and you have no recourse. There are some banks that will offer their own protection for debit cards. This is a good reason to not keep too much money in an account that is linked to a debit card.

    With a credit card, you are responsible for no more than $50 of fraud, under federal law. Most credit card companies will not even make you pay that. Once you report it stolen, you have zero responsibility for later fraud.
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  • shoebox10shoebox10 3394 replies165 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,559 Senior Member
    Great, great points Charlie. And credit cards will inform you of such activity pretty quickly, I had my number lifted once and the bank texted me and called me to verify the charge. When we determined it wasn't, they instantly canceled my card, overnighted me a new one, and took care of the charge without any further action of my own.

    Some cards also offer protection on certain items you buy, car rental insurance, and travel protection. Maybe not a huge deal for college students, but those types of cards require good credit history and are very helpful later in life.

    It's important to remember that credit cards aren't evil. As long as you pay them off monthly (full balance) and monitor your spending, credit cards can actually be better than using straight cash.
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  • appzillaappzilla 81 replies26 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 107 Junior Member
    Great information from everyone. I really appreciate the guidance!
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  • charlieschmcharlieschm 4096 replies186 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 4,282 Senior Member
    Any credit card that is possessed by a student should involve the bill going back to the parent, or at least visible by the parent online. Many students get overwhelmed with their first credit card. You can also specifically ask for a credit card with a low credit limit, which reduces the hazards from overspending.

    I have a system with my college kids that works well. I give them a credit card in their name, which is my account. They are only allowed to use it for college books, software, emergencies, and food they buy at a supermarket. If they want to go out to eat, they have to use their debit card, which involves spending the money they earned over the summer. It helps to instill some financial discipline, so they don't go out to restaurants twice a day. I've told them "If you run out of spending money before the end of the school year, that is your problem, not mine."
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  • robertrrobertr 468 replies14 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 482 Member
    Like Charlie, my kids also had credit cards with low limits. I was amused when they would call home around the 1st of the month to tell me their card had been declined because they had reached their limit. They didn't understand the concept that there is a lag between the end of the billing period and the actual payment of the bill. They just assumed that we stroked a check at the end of each cycle to reset the counter.

    College is so much more than what they learn in the classroom!
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  • shoebox10shoebox10 3394 replies165 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,559 Senior Member
    Great system Charlie :) Also, having them linked to yours will be reflected on their credit history, as long as they're an authorized/joint user. It's a GREAT help to them, trust me!

    Credit card companies have ones specifically tailored to students. The Citi Forward Student was great when I got it, I got 5x points on bookstores (including amazon!), food, and groceries. It worked out great since that's a majority of what I was buying. I've held onto the card since it's $0 fees, but have been able to get other, better rewards cards due to that longer history.
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  • jc40jc40 1546 replies76 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,622 Senior Member
    We set up a student BoA checking account for our D the summer before her first year. She knew we'd put X amount in per month, and once it was gone -- it was gone. This was her first exposure to budgeting. The summer after her first year, she applied for a CC at BoA. She did not need for us to co-sign. Her limit is relatively low. She uses her CC almost exclusively now so that she can get the points back and build her credit history. We get the monthly statements and pay it off each month. (Boy, can my child go to some place called Sweet Frogs a lot!:))
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  • shoebox10shoebox10 3394 replies165 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,559 Senior Member
    JC, rules have changed about co-signing. Do you know if they were in place when she got hers?

    Nice to see someone else stressing budgeting :) Once I started my job, I used it lightly to just monitor my spending. Now I use it to see how much extra I save each month and allocate that savings between house, grad school, and fun stuff. Nice to see it all going somewhere rather than dumping money away into a bank account or overspending occasionally.
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  • grp2013grp2013 271 replies18 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 289 Junior Member
    Like charlie, our son (sr. in HS) has had a credit card in his name, but it's just a card on my account, for a year now. It's for emergencies - or when he calls and gets the expense pre-approved from his banker (i.e. mom or dad). He also has a local checking account with a debit card, and very little balance usually.

    My question is: he will have an on-campus job (work study) and will need to deposit his pay there. We assume it would be able to be direct deposited into his existing local bank account - but is there an advantage to having say a UVA credit union account to deposit this into instead (not planning on needing a full BOA acct)? Also, is there really much need for cash anyway - with a debit/credit card and UVA student card isn't most everything covered?

    And, I think both shoe and charlie hit the nail on the head with the fact that use of a debit/credit card tends to lead to better money management skills than using cash.
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  • grp2013grp2013 271 replies18 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 289 Junior Member
    Interesting related article today: Young Americans are ditching credit cards - Jun. 14, 2013

    I still believe using (and monitoring) a credit card "correctly" is actually a good thing and helps teach budgeting and money management. Unfortunately too many people equate "credit card" to "unregulated spending" which is very bad indeed.
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  • shoebox10shoebox10 3394 replies165 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,559 Senior Member
    Grp: look into PNC. If he gets paper checks he can deposit them straight from his phone. A few other banks have that too, I just hate the big banks. UVa probably direct deposits as well

    A lot of people my age have very little saved and spend beyond their means. Suddenly, something happens (emergency, lose a job, whatever) and it snowballs from there. It's a sad but harsh truth.
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  • grp2013grp2013 271 replies18 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 289 Junior Member
    Thanks shoe - I'll look into PNC and UVACU as well.
    A lot of people my age have very little saved and spend beyond their means. Suddenly, something happens (emergency, lose a job, whatever) and it snowballs from there. It's a sad but harsh truth.

    Don't beat yourself up - you're still way early in your career and life, and some early overspending is one of those life lessons (ask my wife about "my" spending back then!). You'll find the balance. Someday you'll just look back at today as a "hey, remember when..." memory.
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