While in the United States, students should keep most of their money safely deposited in a bank, except for the amount needed for daily expenses. Money should not be left in living quarters. Any business transaction should be made by check or card if a substantial amount of money is involved.
Banks offer many services including checking and savings accounts, foreign currency conversion, bank drafts, money orders, credit cards, loans, traveler's checks, and safety deposit boxes. Money deposited in banks is insured for the amount of the account, up to $250,000.
There are several banks in Milledgeville from which to choose. New students can ask returning students which banks give the best service to students:
150 W. Greene St.
Magnolia State Bank
2451 N. Columbia St.
A checking account allows you to deposit money, then write a check (or debit via card) against your account to pay for services and purchases you have made. To open a checking account, you will need to bring identification (for example, passport) and the money you wish to deposit. Most banks ask for a social security number as well, but having a social security number is not a requirement to open an account. Some banks require a minimum balance to keep in your checking account. Please discuss and rules or fees with your banker prior to opening an account.
Most banks operate Automated Teller Machines ("ATM"), which conveniently allow you to withdraw, deposit, or transfer funds twenty-four hours a day. ATMs are located at banks, shopping malls, and many other places. Most banks charge a small fee if using another bank's ATM.
Credit cards are a popular form of payment in the U.S. and can be very convenient. They allow you to make purchases even if you don't have any cash available. However, if you decide to get a credit card, you need to be careful how you use it. You are borrowing money from the credit card company to pay for purchases, and you will be charged quite high interest rates each month until you pay off the balance. If you are not able to pay off your balance right away, your debt can grow out of control.