The Student Starter Account is specially designed to help Australian students keep up with their finances during their studies. The account offers convenient ways to bank while avoiding any excessive fees and charges. You will not be required to maintain any minimum balance, but you will get the flexibility of being able to shop for your books using a linked Visa Debit Card.
What are the features of the Community First Student Starter Account?
Your financial obligations and needs begin to change as you make your way through your final years of school. Before you choose a transaction account to see you those transitions, you should compare the various features between a number of different banks:
- Monthly fees. You will not be charged a monthly account keeping fee with the Student Starter Account.
- Transaction fees. With this account you are free from transaction fees regardless of how many you make each month.
- Availability. The Student Starter Account is only available for individuals between the ages of 17 and 24 who are studying for their first degree or traineeship full-time.
- Account access methods. You are able to bank using the phone, internet, your mobile device, ATMs and at a Community First Financial Services Store. A BPAY facility is also available to help take care of your bills, and you can set up direct debits and credits through online banking.
- Overdraft. If you qualify you can take advantage of a $500 Visa overdraft to cover any expenses that exceed your account balance.
- ATM network. With Community First you are able to manage your account using rediATMs, one of Australia’s largest networks with over 3,500 machines around the country.
- Debit card. The account is linked to a Visa Debit Card which allows you to make purchases wherever Visa is accepted with the money being drawn directly out of your account. The Visa Debit Card is also used to make ATM withdrawals and deposits.
- Visa payWave. A feature of the Visa Debit Card, payWave enables you to make a point of sale purchase of under $100 without having to swipe your card or sign the receipt.
- Interest rates. You are also able to earn interest on any part of your balance that is in excess of $20,000.
- Interest payments. Interest is calculated on your daily balance and paid into the account three times a year.
- Membership. Community First is a credit union available to individuals residing in Sydney or the Central Coast Region of Australia. There are no employment requirements to become a member, but you will be asked to pay a $2 shareholder fee.
- Fee-free banking with no monthly fees
- Linked Visa debit card access
- Access to RediATM network
- Only available to students
How do I apply for the Community First Student Starter Account?
If you are already a member, you are able to apply for this account through your internet banking platform. If not, visit the Community First website and you will be able to fill out both your membership and transaction account application online. Certain eligibility requirements do apply, including:
- Minimum age. This account is only applicable for individuals between the ages of 17 and 24 who are enrolled full-time in a secondary education institution or traineeship program. You should note that Community First no longer requires that you provide proof of enrollment annually.
- Residency requirements. Only Australian residents with an address in Sydney or the Central Coast region are permitted to become members and open the Student Starter Account.
- Depository requirements. You will not be asked to make a mandatory minimum opening deposit, other than the $2 shareholder fee.
Having the following documentation nearby as you fill out the application will help in ensuring that all of the information provided is correct:
- Tax file number. You are not required by law to provide your tax file number (TFN) or exemption code, however if you choose not to, Community First is obligated to deduct tax at the highest marginal rate plus the Medicare levy from any of your interest earnings.
- Identification. In order to verify your identity you will need to provide the details from a photo identification document such as your Medicare card, passport or driver’s licence.
After submitting your application you will be notified of the details of your account within a few days, and your linked Visa debit card mailed to the address that you provided.