A blog to keep current on MPIRG'S fight for social and environmental justice.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Why students should move their money out of Big Banks

As the U.S. economy slowly recovers from its recession nightmare it’s critical that the American people wake up and actively engage in solutions. We have the power to fight against the institutions that caused this crisis. As average citizens we can choose not to support these financial juggernauts by moving our personal finances into small, local banks and credit unions. There are numerous reasons to move your money from the Wells Fargos and U.S. Banks of the world and this blog series reviews just a handful.

As we enter college, we learn quickly the bank our school is in cahoots with as they suggest or even lure students into opening an account with the institution during registration.

College students with just a few dollars to their name might not think that their banking decisions matter. But in a country where our dollar is our vote every day, they do. Students who are new to their college town may be especially interested in this easy option for their banking needs. But the hidden and explicit cost of banking with, well, a bank are huge. ATM fees, overdraft fees, and even hidden charges ensure your college experience keeps you with just a few dollars – or even less.

Students are not known for their abundant wealth. But it is exactly during this critical moment of investing in our future that we also invest in banking habits that reflect our values. Banking locally just makes sense.

Not only are credit unions working harder to meet your needs as a consumer, they are also doing more to support the community.

Ready to move YOUR money to a local, nonprofit option? Check out credit unions in your neighborhood that offer special student rates – many of them do! In addition, most credit unions are happy to do the legwork of closing your current account for you without charge.

Written by Dakotah Johnson, MPIRG Campus Organizer

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