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  • StudentFirstTM Checking

    Your essential checking account for college

    Find out if StudentFirstTM Checking is right for you

    Buying your books and picking your classes aren’t the only things on your mind as you set off for school. You need an easy, convenient way to manage and access your money. StudentFirstTM Checking offers checking with no monthly maintenance fees.  Also, First Niagara will not charge you for using any domestic (U.S. & Canada) ATM, AND we will rebate up to five domestic ATM fees charged by other banks as well.1

    You can also avoid the $5 per month charge for receiving paper statements by enrolling in Online Banking and signing up for eStatements.

    Our representatives are visiting colleges and universities to offer a convenient way to sign up. But if you don’t spot us at your school, visit one of our branches.  Locate a branch

    See our At-A-Glance Fees, Terms & Conditions (PDF) and the Retail Account Disclosure Booklet (PDF) for more information.

    How do I open these files?

    Choose your StudentFirstTM Checking options

    StudentFirstTM Checking makes it a snap to keep track of your available balance and the status of your account online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with our Online Banking service.

    Within Online Banking, our free Bill Pay service also lets you set up regularly scheduled payments for monthly bills – and one-time payments for other goods and services. Learn more about Online Bill Pay.

    Discover the benefits of StudentFirstTM Checking

    Other benefits you’ll enjoy include:

    • With your Debit MasterCard® and Apple Pay™, you can pay participating retailers securely with just one touch
    • Access to all First Niagara ATMs
    • No fees from First Niagara when you use other bank ATMs, plus we’ll rebate up to five domestic ATM fees charged by other banks.1
    • First Niagara Mobile Banking app with Mobile Check Deposit (available to eligible customers)
    • No monthly maintenance fees
    • Debit card with chip technology for advanced fraud protection and worldwide acceptance.
    • Online Banking
    • Open your account with as little as $50
    • No minimum balance requirement

    Understand StudentFirstTM Checking terms and conditions

    We want to help you understand the details of your account. So remember:

    • Available to students 16 years of age and older. Students who will be under 18 years old must have an adult joint owner in order to open a StudentFirstTM Checking account
    • After the first five free transactions at domestic non-First Niagara ATMs, you may be assessed surcharges by the ATM owner when using your First Niagara ATM card or Debit MasterCard at their ATM.  Rebates for the first five domestic surcharges are credited to your account at the end of each statement cycle.
    • To avoid the $5 paper statement charge, you must enroll in Online Banking and set up eStatements
    • An inactive fee of $12 a month will apply if you have no debit or credit activity on the account for more than six months and a balance less than $500
    • You can use up to five free paper checks per statement cycle. But we know sometimes you may need to write more. In these cases, additional checks are just $0.50 each
    • You can review complete details of this account in our Retail Account Disclosure Booklet  How do I open this file?
  • Send us an email or visit your local branch
  • Access your accounts 24/7 with convenient Online Banking and Mobile Banking.
  • SallieMae
    StudentFirstTM is a trademark of First Niagara Financial Group, Inc. Sallie Mae® is the creditor for StudentFirstTM Loans. First Niagara is compensated by Sallie Mae for referring customers to the StudentFirstTM Loan program.
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1 Rebates are credited to your account at the end of each statement cycle. First Niagara charges $5 for use of International ATMs, and surcharges may apply for non-First Niagara ATMs outside of the United States and Canada, which are not rebated.

Apple Pay is a trademark of Apple Inc.

MasterCard is a registered trademark of MasterCard International Incorporated.

StudentFirstTM is a trademark of First Niagara Financial Group, Inc.


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