Money and Banking
Most banks in Valdosta have specially priced services for VSU students. You should ask for a student account when you open your account at a bank. You will receive checks and a check/debit card to be used in ATMs. There is an automated teller machine (ATMs) in the University Center on campus. If you have a bank account, your family can wire- transfer money to you. It is safer and easier than sending money through the mail. Wired money generally arrives two weeks after it has been sent. Your bank in Valdosta will charge a handling fee, usually about $12. Have your money well in advance of your VSU fee payment deadline. Failure to pay your student fees on time will result in your return home.
It is important to know how much is in your checking account at all times. Do not write checks for more money than you have in your checking account. You will be charged a fee for checks written for more than the amount in an account. Writing checks when you do not have enough money to cover the check is a criminal offense punishable by imprisonment.
Keep you checkbook and your account number in a safe place and report it to the bank immediately if your checkbook is lost or stolen.
Other Banking Services Offered for Fees
- Credit cards (VSU fees may be paid with Visa or MasterCard only)
- Cashier's checks
- Money Orders
- Certified checks
- Travelers checks
- Safety deposit box rental to store valuable item
- Savings accounts
Currency from your home country must be taken to a bank to be exchanged. All currency (except Canadian) must be sent out of town by the local banks for exchange. There is a charge of approximately $10 for the transaction and a processing time of 3 to 6 weeks.
You may keep money in a savings account where it will earn modest interest. Many banks have a minimum balance requirement. If the amount of money you have in your account falls below the minimum, the bank may charge you a fine. If you have a savings account and a checking account at the same bank, you may transfer money from one account to the other.
When choosing a credit card, be sure to check on its reputation for service, interest rate, and popularity amongst retailers. On the whole, foreign students, particularly freshmen, are encouraged to avoid credit card offers as they can prove attractive, but nevertheless lead to financial difficulty or even ruin.
The bank sends a monthly statement or record of checks written and paid on your account. It is important that you review these documents carefully each month to rectify any discrepancies between the banks records and yours. This is of particular importance when using an ATM, because it is easy to forget a transaction and/or lose the receipt. Customers are penalized through service fines for checks that are written for an amount greater than the sum in their account.
Automatic Teller-Machine (ATM)
This computerized device allows bank customers to effect many transactions at any time of day. There are charges for using the ATMs of the banks other than your own. For security reasons, avoid making ATM transactions at night. Go to the ATM located inside a mall or grocery store if you must get cash at night.