Student's Guide to Personal Finances and Credit Unions

The life of a student can seem hectic. Filled with end of year/ semester exams, study guides, and miscellaneous homework, there is already much on older students’ minds. Due to all of this, finances may not be at the top of the list regarding concerns of an adult life that seems to get closer at an alarming rate.
Personal finances are an incredibly important part of ensuring comfort and financial success later on in life— whether that be in 5, 10, or 15 years. Finding a financial institution that’s member friendly and suits students’ individual needs is especially important in this stage of life, and credit unions can be the answer to this dilemma.

What are credit unions?

A credit union is very similar to large scale banks such as Wells Fargo or Chase, but a key difference is that credit unions are not-for-profit organizations. This means that any profit made by this institution will be reinvested into members to offer lower interest rates on loans, free products and services, and lower fees.
Credit unions also offer a very special feature¬— relationships with members. With bigger institutions, it can be difficult to cultivate a relationship between members and workers. BrightStar Credit Union (BSCU) is one of the largest credit unions in South Florida, but members come first.

What can BSCU offer students?

Middle and high school students can participate in the 5 for $25 program offered by BSCU to jumpstart their saving accounts. BrightStar also offers checking accounts for minors, giving those from 10 to 17 years of age the opportunity to have their own financial freedom while still having features such as overdraft protections and no fees or charges.
For older students, dealing with finances can be much less stressful and time-consuming when compared to major institutions. College students looking to take out car loans, mortgage loans, personal loans, and even credit cards have the added bonus of lower interest rates when compared to large financial institutions.
Consumer credit cards, for instance, have an average APR is 21.21%. At BSCU, the maximum APR is 18%, meaning that paying back interest will not only take less time but also end up being a smaller amount than if the credit card was under a large financial institution. This trend continues across all types of loans that BSCU offers, making them perfect for students who have recently joined the workforce.
Finding and connecting with a financial institution can seem daunting to students, especially to younger ones, but with the right approach. BrightStar Credit Union offers not only a promise to serve members financial needs, but to educate and connect with members to ensure success to every person that walks through our doors.