Banks offer different types of checking accounts designed to fit individual needs. The cost of having a checking account varies from bank to bank. Some banks charge per transaction, some have a basic monthly fee, and others offer free services if you maintain a certain minimum balance in your account at all times. Under some circumstances a bank will offer interest on a checking account. Your canceled checks and/or a list of all the account activity of the preceding month will be sent to you in a monthly statement. Be careful to keep an accurate record of every check you write in order to avoid having checks returned and incurring additional charges. "Bouncing" a check (writing a check for more money than you actually have in the account) can cause a major expense and a great deal of trouble. Through some banks, you can apply for a line of credit attached to your checking account that provides overdraft protection.
A savings account enables you to save money and accumulate interest on your savings. Interest is paid either monthly or quarterly. Although you can withdraw money from your savings account, this service is limited. Ask your bank for the number of monthly withdrawals permitted without penalty. The difference between a savings and a checking account is that you receive higher interest in a saving account, and you are allowed fewer transactions because the purpose is to "save your money".
Many banks issue cards that make deposit and withdrawal services available 24 hours a day by use of an automated teller machine (ATM). These machines, which are frequently located outside the bank, are very convenient. You can avoid waiting in line at the bank and have access to cash after the bank closes or in an emergency. Banks that are members of a national ATM network allow you to access your funds with your bank card at selected ATMs throughout the country. However, there is often a service charge when you do not use your bank's machine.
A note of caution: When withdrawing cash from an ATM after dark, be aware of your surroundings to prevent an assault. Protect your bank card and your secret access code as you do your cash and credit cards. Call your bank if you have a problem with an ATM.
Credit cards are convenient, especially if you unexpectedly have major expenses. You will need to have a social security number to apply for a credit card. You can also pay medical fees, airplane tickets and car repairs with any major credit card. But you must remember that credit cards are seductive. Before you know it you may be in debt. Some banks may charge an annual fee for a credit card. If you are unable to pay your full balance, you will be charged high interest rates (possibly as high as 25% or more) on the remaining balance and any additional charges you make. Make sure you stay within your budget when making credit card purchases.
Debit cards can be used to make purchases at most places that accept credit cards. The difference is that instead of going to the credit card company and showing up on your credit card bill, it goes to the bank and the money is taken directly out of the checking account (like a check).
1698 N. High St.
Credit Union of Ohio
1652 Neil Avenue
Columbus, Ohio 43210
Fifth Third Bank
450 W. 10th
(inside the student union)
1739 N. High Street
University Banking Office
1928 N. High Street
1886 N. High Street