Pew research debates value of checking accounts for college students

Information overload: Checking accounts for college students often come with more than 90 pages of disclosures and agreements.

On Aug. 8, the Pew Charitable Trusts released its most recent report in a series focused on checking accounts, and the results will no doubt be of interest to college students — and their parents.

“Student Checking Accounts: Are They Worth It?” looked at student accounts offered by the 12 largest U.S. banks and 12 largest credit unions. Pew found that these accounts typically contained only minor differences from other “basic accounts” offered to everyone and that these differences were not always helpful to students. Moreover, the differences were often buried in more than 90 pages of disclosures and agreements. Pew’s policy arm — the Pew Center on the States — wants the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to mandate basic “fact boxes” for all checking accounts, including student accounts.

“These things are very long, text-heavy and full of legalese. What we need is a nutrition label for checking accounts. It needs to be clear and uniform, the way it is on a can of soup,” says Susan K. Weinstock, the director of Pew’s Safe Checking in the Electronic Age Project.

In focus groups, researchers discovered that college students were disproportionately affected by overdraft fees. Two specific overdraft fees associated with these accounts have gone up in the past two years: extended overdraft penalties and overdraft transfers.

“Right now, if you want to shop for a checking account, you can look at where the branches are and where the ATMs are, but that’s pretty much it,” says Weinstock. “We want people to be able to shop on the things that really matter — what it’s going to cost them.”

The rankings

Of the 12 major banks featured in Pew’s report, these received the highest rankings for “Accessibility of Important Account Information.”

1. Bank of America
2. Wells Fargo Bank
3. JP Morgan Chase Bank

These banks received the lowest rankings:

1. Capital One
2. Regions Bank
3. HSBC Bank



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

U.N. nuclear inquiry on Iran seen making slow…

The U.N. nuclear watchdog appears to have made only limited progress so far in getting Iran to answer questions about its suspected atomic bomb research, diplomatic sources said on Friday,…

National

Violence-weary Missouri town sees second night of calm

By Nick Carey and Carey GillamFERGUSON Mo. (Reuters) - The violence-weary town of Ferguson, Missouri, saw a second straight evening of relative calm on Thursday…

National

Journalist James Foley's parents, after call with pope,…

The parents of James Foley, the American journalist killed by Islamic State militants in Iraq, on Friday called for prayer and support to free the remaining captives held by Islamic…

Local

Sharpton adapts adversarial style to de Blasio's New…

It was not the first time the Reverend Al Sharpton made his way to City Hall in a fiery mood to scold a mayor about New York City police officers…

Movies

Michael Chiklis on his football past and 'When…

Michael Chiklis remembers playing football in high school and how that prepped him to play a coach in "When the Game Stands Tall."

Music

Webcast: Watch Polyphonic Spree live on Sunday Aug.…

Polyphonic Spree singer Tim DeLaughter sits with Metro Music Editor Pat Healy for a chat and then the big band performs live. It begins on Sunday at 9:30 pm

Movies

Review: 'When the Game Stands Tall' is both…

The high school football saga "When the Game Stands Tall" fumbles around for a focus while Jim Caviezel offers the most low-key coach in history.

Movies

Girlfriend in a coma: Chloe Grace Moretz

Chloe Grace Moretz is the best cheerleader "If I Stay" could ask for. As the star of the film adaptation of the successful YA novel…

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Jets storylines to watch

Metro looks at three Jets storylines to watch as they play the Giants Friday.

NFL

Giants expected to work Corey Washington into first-team…

The day of reckoning for the Giants' fringe players will fall upon them Friday night against the Jets.

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…

Tech

Siren: A new dating app that puts women…

Online dating can be brutal, especially for single women. Noting that many women hate wading through inappropriate messages and photos, two tech entrepreneurs decided to…