Empower Blog

Student Checking
October 23, 2023

The Basics of Student Checking

Banking Basics, College-Career Planning, Credit
This article was recently published in CommunityAmerica's "Let's Talk Money" section of the Kansas City Star.

Student Checking accounts are powerful tools designed to help students manage their finances while learning the basics of personal finance. It’s not just a checking account; it’s a steppingstone towards financial well-being and independence.


The importance of financial management and the role it plays in personal and financial goals is something every young adult must learn. Financial literacy is a wisdom a parent can expand upon to the younger generation, specifically high school and college students, who are beginning to navigate the world of personal finance.

Key Benefits of a Student Bank Account

Student Checking accounts are specifically designed with the needs and lifestyle of students in mind, offering features and benefits that are often not available with standard checking accounts. Here are features you should look for in a Student Checking account:

  • No monthly fees or minimum balance – CommunityAmerica’s Student Checking account is free of monthly charges and has no minimum balance requirement. This is particularly beneficial for students who may not have a regular income or large savings.
  • Overdraft Transfer Protection – Mistakes happen when you’re learning how to budget. Overdraft Transfer Protection protects the checking account from being overdrawn by transferring funds from an account you designate.
  • Free Visa® debit card – With the Student Checking account, students receive a free Visa® debit card that can be used for purchases anywhere Visa is accepted. CommunityAmerica is part of a nationwide network of nearly 30,000 ATMs, providing access to their money no matter where they are.
  • Online and Mobile Banking – While many banks offer online and mobile banking, CommunityAmerica’s platform is designed to be user-friendly and accessible, making it easy for students to manage their money with its near-perfect rating. It's also simple to make quick, secure transfers between parents and teens without additional fees.
  • Parental monitoring – Our Online Banking platform allows a parent to see your student’s account in your Online Banking so you can keep watch and offer guidance when needed.
  • Financial education – CommunityAmerica is committed to empowering students with financial knowledge. CommunityAmerica’s Financial Well-Being Coaches offer free resources and tools to help students understand how to manage money, build a budget and plan for their future.
  • Learn and earn – Students who play CommunityAmerica’s mobile Money 101 educational trivia game when opening a Student Checking account can earn $10 for playing. The Money 101 trivia game is currently only available in our branches.

What Do You Need to Open a Student Bank Account?

If the student is ages 13 – 17:
  • A parent or guardian – The parent or guardian is required as a joint owner on the account. The parent or guardian will need to bring a Driver’s License, or another form of government issued ID.
  • Minimum $1 to open – To become a member at CommunityAmerica, including opening a Student Checking account, you must open a Membership Savings account with a minimum of $1.

If the student is ages 18 – 24:
  • Driver’s License or other form of government-issued ID – A student must be age 18 to open their own Student Checking account.
  • Minimum $1 to open – To become a member at CommunityAmerica, including opening a Student Checking account, you must open a Membership Savings account with a minimum of $1.

Other Student Banking Resources

  • Credit Basics – CommunityAmerica’s Starter Credit Card, created with students in mind, can start your (18+) student into building their own credit score. The Starter Credit Card teaches credit basics by paying your bills on time and getting rewarded with cash back along the way. It also includes free credit monitoring and reporting. Our Financial Well-Being Coaches are available to coach students on building strong credit.


  • Planning for College – If you have a high school student thinking about college, there’s a lot of questions that may come to mind. Planning for college doesn’t have to be stressful, it should be fun! Our College & Career Planners can help you tackle challenging questions and guide you through the college planning process. Plus, it’s free to CommunityAmerica members!

Student checking accounts are an essential tool for managing finances and learning about money management. CommunityAmerica’s Student Checking account is designed to help your student navigate your financial journey with ease and confidence. Sign up for a Student Checking account at CommunityAmerica and pass along the wisdom of smart banking.

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About the Author
laura jones of communityamerica credit union
Laura Jones

Regional Branch Market Director

Laura Jones is a Regional Branch Market Director and has been with CommunityAmerica helping members achieve their financial goals since 2003. She has a passion for helping others achieve financial stability by encouraging smart money management decisions and setting financial goals.