5: Money and Banking


Some students choose to open a bank account in Hilo.  You are not required to have a bank account in Hilo, but it can be convenient for students who plan to stay for a year or longer.  Other students just use their credit or debit cards from home to access money from their home banks and do not open a bank account in Hilo.  We will assist you with opening a bank account in Hilo during orientation week if you want to open a bank account in Hilo.   There are advantages and disadvantageous to having a bank account in Hawai’i:

Advantages:  Having a local Bank of Hawai’i account allows you to get an ATM card for cash withdrawals that can be used at the ATM machine in the campus library.  Also, you can wire money from home to your account here as a way to keep funds.

Disadvantages:  If you have a bank account, you must be careful about monitoring how much money you have in your account.  Overspending can result in penalties charged by the bank.  Also, if you are only in Hilo for one semester, the bank will probably charge you a fee to close the account if you close it within six months.