Sunday, February 16, 2014

College Debit Cards

Many colleges are making financial aid available on a college provided debit card. The money may be more conveniently available to students. Many students are taking them up on this offer and using their financial aid right from the debit card. But did you know there are reasons to not do this?

College students need every dime of financial aid. Some debit cards provided by the college may charge you a fee if you actually use it as a debit card. You should be able to use it as a credit or check card, then there should be no fee. If you cannot do this, you should not be getting your financial aid on a debit card.

Did you know that the colleges are probably getting a bounty for each student they get a debit card to? The colleges do not actually run the cards. Private banks do. You are then dealing with a private bank.

You can avoid fees as well if you just withdraw cash to use from ATMs run by that bank. The problem is, there may not be these ATMs readily available to you at any given time. So if you need quick cash, you pay a fee to get it. That's not fair to college students.

You are better off getting the financial aid in a check that you deposit in your own account and use it the most prudent way.

But, be aware that even if you do the debit card, you still have the option of getting a check or deposited right in your own bank account.

Of course your bank might have fees as well, but those would be fees you are already paying and know about.

Before you jump at the convenience of financial aid on a debit card, look at how much it may cost you. It could be a few dollars, or add up to hundreds over your college stay.

>> How about a tuition-free college?