Tips for handling college expenses

July 24, 2011

Each year, students and parents are faced with many options when it comes to deciding how to pay for college: financial aid, applying for scholarships, student loans or a combination.

For those who have determined that a student loan is necessary as part of their college-financing package, Susquehanna Bank offers some tips:

  • Apply early — June is a month that sees a high volume of student loan applications.
  • Lower rates — Look for loan programs that allow you to get a lower rate by applying with a credit-worthy co-signer and/or establishing automatic debit to make payments.
  • Pay in advance — See if advance payment is an option for your loan, and if there is a penalty for doing so.
  • Know your credit — Prior to being approved for a private student loan, lenders will run a credit check on you and your co-signer. Check your credit report before applying to make sure there are no inaccuracies.

Tips for student checking accounts

Here are some tips that college freshmen should read before opening their first checking accounts:
  • Minimum balance — Look for checking accounts that do not require you to maintain a minimum balance.
  • Student fee structure — Learning to balance a checkbook for the first time can be tough, and many checking accounts charge overdraft fees. Try to find a checking account that will give you a break by refunding one of your bank fees.
  • Convenience — Many college students do not have cars during their first few years of school. For convenience, seek out a bank that has ATMs, or branches on or near campus, or one that waives fees for using other banks’ ATMs.
  • Check cards — College might be the first time many students will have their own check cards, and not all of them are free.
  • 24/7 banking — Go with a bank that offers free online, mobile and text banking services.

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