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The big change in your life at 18 [19 in Alabama/Nebraska] is you are now legally an adult for contractual purposes, so time to get bank accounts in your own name, i.e. not with your parents.  While you are in school, your banking needs will probably be fairly simple -- you need a savings account and a no-monthly-fee checking account.  Small banks and credit unions typically have better customer service.  What's the difference between a bank and a credit union?  These days, they are essentially the same.

When searching for a bank, there are a number of questions you should ask to be sure the bank or credit union will meet your needs.  Keep in mind, your needs may be different than your roommate's needs.   For instance, if you prefer to do all your banking online and your roommate prefers to go to a branch, you will want to find a bank that allows online bill-pay, and has a large network of ATMs, while your roommate will likely prefer a bank with a branch close by.   Keep in mind, many of the online banks are able to offer higher interest rates on savings and checking accounts because they have lower overhead.   


Credit Cards vs Debit Cards

Which One Should I Use?

Today, both types of card carry familiar credit company logos and both can be used at the grocery store or to make online purchases.  So which should you choose?


Questions to Ask a Bank

Looking to open a bank account? Here are some important questions you should ask your bank when opening an account.