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Parents, Are Your Children Heading to College This Fall? Questions For a Banker?

Money management is key to a business or household, and also key to a successful college experience and education.

Feel free to read on and ask any questions you would like.

Several banks have student checking. This can reduce or eliminate the checking account service charge. If your child is going away to college, does their bank have a branch near school? Is there one near home?

Debit card: This a great way to make purchases and access funds. However, there are some dangers. If you are not writing down your purchases or keeping track of your balance, you could incur expensive overdraft fees. One requirement with a debit card is that you choose if you are going to opt in/opt out.

  • Opt In: Your transaction can be paid at the banks discretion, overdraft fee can be charged. (ex...avoid embarrassment grocery store line when not enough cash)
  • Opt Out: If there is not enough money in the account, the transaction will be declined. Thereore there's no purchase but ther also won't be fees.

Overdrafts: Overdrafts, I've found, are the hot button issue at the customer service counter of banks and credit unions. Go negative on your account balance, what is it going to cost? Some banks charge a one-time fee and a daily fee. Some banks charge a one-time fee and a weekly continuous overdraft fee. You better know how this happens before you loose your hard earned money.

Online banking: This is an interesting part of banking. Parents can send money to kids as well as transfer funds. Bills can be paid directly. This is a great source for managing your funds. Know what you have and what you can spend.

What part can I explain further? How can I help you get your children off on a good foot? Also, take these thoughts and information and sitdown with your Trusted Banker.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Leanne Verhaalen March 12, 2012 at 10:46 PM
James, what is the difference between a mortgage refinance and a modification? -Leanne
James Gottemoller March 12, 2012 at 10:49 PM
leanne, thank you. I will have to research this question. I have thoughts but I want to be accurate.
Leanne Verhaalen March 13, 2012 at 09:55 PM
I am balancing my checkbook today. I wrote out a donation check last September and it still has not cleared. How long before I can add that one back in to my balance? Does a check get too old for someone to cash it?
James Gottemoller March 14, 2012 at 02:45 AM
Leanne, Years ago, 6 mths the check was stale. The only problem today is that the processing is so quick that it is doubtful if it will get caught. I would keep it figured in your checking account balance and check with the outfit you donated too. They could be holding it and forgot it. Recommendation for the future, If you have online banking, some banks will replace a check for free if it was issued by the bill pay.
James Gottemoller April 29, 2012 at 01:58 AM
Parents, looking for a good tool to help your college bound child start to manage money? The checking account is a really good tool. Budgeting, decision making (can I really afford such and such) are just a few of skills that they can learn. Money management is a key step in eventually obtaining credit.

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