Basic Financial Terminology

  • Bank Account
    There are several types of accounts and each bank has its own policies governing its accounts. Always inquire about a bank’s services before deciding on the type of account. Make sure you carry identification with you (passport, I-20).
  • Checking Account
    A bank account against which checks can be drawn. There may be a monthly service fee.
  • Check
    A written order to a bank to pay the amount specified from your checking account.
  • Bounced Check
    Checks not paid because there is not enough money in the account. Fees include a fee from your bank, as well as from the payee.
  • Service Charge/Fee
    A fee for banking services.
  • Balance
    The amount of money available in the account.
  • Bank Statement
    A monthly statement of activity on a bank account.
  • Credit Cards
    Issued by banks, gasoline companies and stores and are used to delay payments for purchases. If you have an international credit card, bring it with you – it is an excellent form of identification. If you apply for a credit card while in the U.S., please keep in mind that credit cards are sometimes refused to international students. Remember a credit card bill has to be paid monthly.