Education-focused financial services company Sallie Mae announced Monday that it will begin offering no-fee student checking accounts into which colleges and universities can directly disburse financial aid and tuition refunds owed to students.
The FDIC-insured checking accounts will be offered through Sallie Mae Bank and allow student account holders to withdraw cash surcharge-free using a Sallie Mae debit MasterCard at one of 35,000 ATM locations nationwide. Other account features will include full online access, refund disbursement tracking, bill pay, check writing, transfers and links to other bank accounts. Minimum account balances will not be required and fees will not be charged for inactivity, low balances or PIN and signature transactions.
The checking accounts will be available to college and university students beginning in summer 2011. This is Sallie Mae’s first checking product, but the company got into retail banking in March 2010 with the launch of its high-yield online savings accounts and certificates of deposit, Sallie Mae Corporate Communications Director Debby Hohler said.
“With this product, Sallie Mae offers students the lowest cost checking account in the country, and students have near immediate access to their refunds,” Hohler said.
The Sallie Mae no-fee student checking account is part of the company’s Campus Solutions product suite, which includes student loans, tuition refund disbursement, tuition payment plans and electronic billing and payment processing.