Sending Your Child Off to College

in Make it Today, Points of View

The start of college is right around the corner and your future college student is probably overcome with excitement of taking on the world, embarking on a new adventure, and having a newfound independence – managing their finances might be the last thing they are worrying about.

In all the excitement, no one wants to think about unexpected financial burdens. The truth of it all is that things happen that we have no control over. For example:
  • “My debit card is broken and I live miles away – it’s my only access to funds. What am I going to do until my new card gets here?”
  • “I didn’t know I only had $5 in my account, how am I supposed eat or pay for anything until I get paid again?”
  • “My son/daughter called me last night on their way home and they needed money to put gas in their vehicle. I didn’t know how to help them and it was after business hours.”
A few solutions that might help before your child goes off to school would be:
  • Make sure they know how to access and use online banking or mobile banking. Having this tool right at their fingertips can help them be cognizant of what funds they have available to them and what is happening on their accounts 24/7. Our online banking and mobile banking platforms offer so many options to make managing your account on the go easy and convenient. It has remote deposit, free bill pay, e-statements, and account alerts.
  • If you are on the account with your child – see if your financial institution allows you to link your account to or child’s account through online banking so even if the branch is closed, you can transfer funds to them in the event that they would need help. SouthPoint offers this service and it is referred to as a “Cross Account Set Up.”
  • A SouthPoint Secured Credit Card – secures the amount that you want the credit limit to be in their savings account. For example, if they have $200 available to secure in the savings account, they will get a $200 credit limit on the card. You can set the limit depending on the amount you are able to secure. Nothing can be more frustrating when their debit card stops working due to it being cracked, lost, or stolen and they are miles from home and have no other way of accessing their funds. Having a backup form of payment can help prevent that frustration and help your child out in that situation. It can also help them start building credit.

Being away from home can be scary enough the way it is. By educating and giving your student the tools to financial management, they can help give you and your child piece of mind as they head off to college.

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