Sallie Mae announced 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 from ATMs surcharge-free by using a Sallie Mae debit MasterCard. 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 and are a part of Sallie Mae's Campus Solutions product suite, which includes student loans, tuition refund disbursement, tuition payment plans and electronic billing and payment processing.

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Natasha Chilingerian

Natasha Chilingerian has been immersed in the credit union industry for over a decade. She first joined CU Times in 2011 as a freelance writer, and following a two-year hiatus from 2013-2015, during which time she served as a communications specialist for Xceed Financial Credit Union (now Kinecta Federal Credit Union), she re-joined the CU Times team full-time as managing editor. She was promoted to executive editor in 2019. In the earlier days of her career, Chilingerian focused on news and lifestyle journalism, serving as a writer and editor for numerous regional publications in Oregon, Louisiana, South Carolina and the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition, she holds experience in marketing copywriting for companies in the finance and technology space. At CU Times, she covers People and Community news, cybersecurity, fintech partnerships, marketing, workplace culture, leadership, DEI, branch strategies, digital banking and more. She currently works remotely and splits her time between Southern California and Portland, Ore.