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It seems like the poor college student can’t seem to get a break. Starting early 2012, Bank of America will be charging a $5 monthly fee for account holders who use their debit card to make a payment! Bank of America is the largest bank in the United States by number of deposits, so unfortunately, this will be having a negative affect on many of us who do not have credit cards. Read on about college students and debit cards.

The good news is that they are only rolling out this fee in select states. The bad news: they haven’t announced which states.

But don’t think you’re in the clear if you do not hold a Bank of America checking account. From the looks of it, Chase and Wells Fargo are already testing a $3 charge in select areas. Even smaller regional banks have already implemented similar monthly fees. There is also the monthly $12 dollar fee for those whose account balance is below $1500 — though I don’t think this applies to student accounts. If someone has information clarifying this, I would appreciate a comment.

So if you are the typical student who has a typically low balance in your checking account, you’re SOL. It’s a sad reality: those of us who have been using solely debit cards to avoid that harsh interest rates charged to our credit cards — it just won’t work anymore.

What I would recommend to those who DO have credit cards: charge the card and pay it off on a weekly basis to avoid interest and other fees. Or invest in old-fashioned paper checks. Or just operate on cash and only cash (good luck with that). Every dollar counts for the poor college student — we can’t be wasting money on fees when we have student loans to pay!

Sigh, what is this world coming to?

Photo courtesy of DeclanTM via Flickr (CC BY 2.0). [via College Magazine]

Check out the video below to learn about the differences between debit and credit cards.
Credit Cards Vs. Debit Cards

What is your experience with a debit or credit card as a college student? Post below in the comments section.