Beginning a college career is the halfway mark of life. It is the transitional phase between awkward school dances to being a full-fledged adult in the workforce. Those first four years of university life define and mold the person we will become. We learn responsibility and independence to prepare us for the realities of the world. Therefore, forming healthy financial habits early on guarantees a smooth transition to a student’s future endeavors.
For a college student, financial independence means not having to rely on parents when it comes to paying bills, handling work checks, and buying necessities. A student must learn how to be a conscious consumer and handle money responsibly. The first step is to find the right financial institution that will provide the right long term and low costs.
Search for a bank that provides benefits specifically for students. Typically, local credit unions offer free checking and savings accounts for their members, including new college students. Special services and assistance on how to build credit scores is also provided by credit unions. A few of the other important benefits of becoming a credit union member are:
- Lower APR on most loan types
- Better rates of return on savings accounts and certificates of deposit
- Low or minimum balances to maintain accounts
- U.S. Government insured accounts by up to $250,000
- Dividends are paid to members, not shareholders
A credit union’s first priority is to serve all members rather than make a profit. This is how they can keep lower rates on loans and the other services they offer. Most credit unions provide members with almost all services offered by banks. Students can have access to everything they need including the most basic services such as checking, savings, lines of credit and loans.
Credit Unions Reaching out to Students
There are over 90 million credit union members in the United States. As a member-run corporation, all credit union profits are reinvested back into the community. Recently, credit unions across the country have opened mini branches in secondary schools to influence young adults in their financial decisions. These branches instill healthy habits by giving students a sense of independence and financial responsibility.
If you would like more information on how our credit union can help you with financial services throughout your college career, please call us at Valley Federal Credit Union at 956.425.5668, or at the Brownsville Main Office at 956.546.3108.