Why a Credit Union Is the Best Financial Planning Option for Students

credit union for studentsCollege planning for your student has many necessary steps to complete before your child goes off on their own. They need to get accepted into an institution, pack up their belongings, buy school supplies, and figure out where they will live. It’s truly their first time out on their own, which means it’s also their first time taking care of their expenses. Everything from books, meals, and transportation will need to be covered. 

As you begin college planning with your child, it’s also the perfect time to consider teaching them about financial planning. Proper financial planning can help alleviate many college-related hurdles, like affordability and debt obligations. Below the BHCU team highlights the best savings account for college students and why a credit union is the best financial planning option for their future.

What Is the BHCU Credit Union Advantage?

As part of their college prep, many students set up a bank or credit union account, often their first step towards financial independence. One of the first questions they’ll be asked is whether they’d like to go with a bank or credit union. While both institutions offer similar advantages, students will likely discover they can get more from a credit union membership. When a student creates an account with BHCU, they are offered better rates. Credit unions are known for paying higher interest rates on savings, charging lower rates for credit cards and loans, and rarely charging fees for checking and savings accounts.     

Additionally, we are here for our members, meaning we offer college financing options, like scholarships and student loans, and you always receive more friendly and personalized service. In fact, BHCU has special incentives in place for students and college-bound adolescents. We offer a unique program called Report Card Rewards, where eligible students can earn up to $50 per school year for every “A” grade or the equivalent! All they have to do is become a BHCU member, activate a Youth iSAVE or Student iSAVE account, and hold a minimum balance of $50.

What Expenses to Plan for 

Whether your child is just beginning their financial planning or they’re wondering how to save money in college, the experts at BHCU are here to help. Below we supply a general checklist that provides a helpful starting point as your student begins planning and budgeting for college:

  • Tuition and Additional Fees – What is the total cost of attending your school and any additional fees that won’t be covered by financial aid. 
  • Housing and Meal Plans – Determine if your student will live on campus or off and whether they will utilize the on-campus cafeterias or plan meals on their own.
  • Books and School Supplies – Textbooks, school supplies, and any additional materials needed for the school year. 
  • Miscellaneous Expenses – Don’t forget to budget for entertainment, toiletries, travel, and other personal expenses.
  • Emergency Fund – While not necessary, an emergency fund is always a great option to pay for something that isn’t in your budget, like a medical emergency.

How You Can Help Your College-Bound Student

As a parent, if you have a child wondering how to save money for college, there are several things you can do as well to best prepare for that exciting and nerve-wracking experience. Below we share some helpful tips:

  • Start Early – It’s never too early for you or your child to save for their academic future. As a parent, developing a plan and budget early on can reduce stress, save money, and lower the amount of student loan debt you may accumulate. Every little bit helps.
  • Open an Investment Account – Many parents open savings or investment accounts to help supplement their children’s education. Account types to consider include: 
    • 529 College Savings Account
    • Education Savings Account
    • Savings Bonds
    • Roth IRA
    • Discretionary or Custodial Savings Accounts 

If you’re unsure which account will work best for your financial situation, our experts are here to answer your questions. 

BHCU Offers the Best Savings Account for College Students

BHCU is more than just a credit union; we’re a financial advisory service that wants to see you and your child meet all their financial goals! We pride ourselves on being a top credit union for students, serving individuals of all ages. If you and your student are ready to journey down the path toward saving for college, reach out to us and open a Student iSAVE account now.