- FDIC Insurance: Protects your funds up to $250,000 in an insured account. No one has lost funds in an FDIC insured account! (www.FDIC.gov)
- Minimum: Least amount of funds you can start with or keep in your account to avoid fees
- Earned Interest: Extra money the bank gives you for keeping your money there.
- Overdraft protection: Overdraft protection allows you to borrow money from the bank automatically if you are making a purchase and do not have enough funds in your account. HOWEVER you will be charged large fees! IMPORTANT: Say NO and opt out of overdraft protection.
- Overdraft or Non-sufficient Funds (NSF) fees: These are fees charged for going negative in your bank account or not having enough funds for your charges. These add up quickly. Look for an account without overdraft or NSF Fees.
- Cash Transfer Apps: Cash transfer apps are tools that are used to send money electronically. Examples are Cash App, Zelle, Venmo, Paypal, Apple Cash, Google Pay, etc. Financial institutions will not be able to stop cash transfer apps from overdrawing your account. Be sure to check your account balance before sending funds!
Debit cards are electronic payment cards that are tied to your checking account. Debit cards can be used to make payments in stores, via phone or online. Debit cards can be used for bank transactions such as deposits, withdrawals, funds transfers, etc. Unlike credit cards, transactions on debit cards will come out of your account immediately. If your debit card gets lost or stolen, it’s easy to replace by contacting your bank. If your debit card is lost or stolen your money will be protected and insured by your bank.
Some debit card transactions may cost a fee. It is important read the instructions that come with your card in order to avoid any unwanted fees.
An ATM allows you to withdraw cash and make basic transactions without going into your bank. At an ATM machine, you can withdraw money, check your account balance, make a deposit, and transfer money between accounts. Your bank should have a large number of ATMs placed at convenient locations within your geographic area. Your bank should not charge you any fees to use their ATMs. Other banks and stores have ATM machines. Your debit card should work at these ATMs, however, you want to try to operate within your banks ATM network in order to avoid fees. Using an ATM at other banks and stores will in most cases cause you to incur fees. To avoid these fees plan your money needs and know your bank’s ATM locations. Most banks offer mobile apps that can help you locate an ATM. Some savings accounts only come with ATM cards NOT debit cards ask your banker what type of card you receive with your account.
Be sure to keep your PIN for your bank account, ATM and/or debit card private and secure.
Fraud and Identity Protection
There are many scams or frauds that young adults need to be aware to avoid. Check fraud is where someone approaches you with a request to deposit a check for them and split the funds. This is a SCAM! You will be the fall guy. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is! There are other scams where you will be asked to share your personal or banking information. Always keep that information private!
Direct deposit is a convenient process in which funds from a paycheck are electronically deposited in a bank account. This saves you money on check cashing fees and time going to the bank or currency exchange. To use direct deposit, you need a bank account. Learn more about finding a safe, youth friendly bank account here. LINK TO BANKING PAGE
To enroll in direct deposit, bring your proof of bank account (a direct deposit form from your bank, bank statement, screenshot of your account information from your banking app, or voided check) to your employer. This needs to include your account number AND routing number.
Savings accounts are a great tool to save money for short and long-term goals. They can also help to avoid overdraft fees as funds can be transferred from a savings account into a checking account if the account is low on funds. Generally, you can withdraw from your savings only up to 6 times per month. Some savings accounts come with ATM cards.
Many banks offer bank accounts that do not charge regular fees, especially for youth. If you’re a student, you will probably qualify for free banking. It is important to shop for a bank that offers fee free accounts. Even if you have an account without any regular fees, there may be a fee for inactivity or receiving a paper statement. Ask your banker what you need to do to avoid fees.
Even if you do not make enough income to money to have to pay income taxes, you will have to pay social security and Medicare tax (FICA). Bottom line – you will NOT take home ALL of your paycheck so do not plan to spend it all.