Banking on Campus: The CFPB Wants to Hear from You on 9/30

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We support reforms to the financial marketplace that protect consumers from unscrupulous banks and lenders.

By Consumers Union on Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

Are you a college student, or the family member of one?  Have questions about the best ways to manage your money on campus? If so, you have a chance to talk directly to the experts.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is hosting a live forum on Monday, September 30 at 1:30pm Eastern to discuss campus financial products and take questions from consumers across the country.  The forum will be streaming online, and the CFPB will be responding to questions and comments people submit via Facebook and Twitter.  Now’s your chance to make your voice heard, and maybe learn some useful tips along the way.

We’ll be live tweeting and sending in our questions, too.   Join us!

These days, college students have a range of options for managing their money – some good, and some not so good.  Although colleges have to give students a choice in how they receive their financial aid, including checks or direct deposit into the student’s bank account, many schools also offer newer financial products that can come with risks.

For example, some schools now offer “campus debit cards” that function both as a campus ID card and a debit card the student can use to access funds.  We’ve written to you before about the dangers associated with these cards, such as high fees or weak consumer protections.  The Higher One card, used on many campuses across the country, has been the subject of a lot of complaints in particular.

It’s important to know that schools can’t force you to use any one option for receiving your financial aid.  If you want to have your funds deposited into a bank account, talk to your financial aid office.  If you don’t have a bank account but want to get one, check out the bank or credit union branches near your campus – college students often qualify for special free or low-cost accounts.

Do you have experiences with campus financial products that you’d like to share?  If so, tell us in the comments.

 

 

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