Parent FAQs

Why is this something we should consider for our student?

What is Buff One Banking?

Buff One Banking is a checking account offered by Elevations Credit Union exclusively to meet the needs of the student. We have partnered with the Buff OneCard Program (Student ID) in order to make money management simpler for CU-Boulder students.


How can students access this account?

Elevations Credit Union offers full access, including branches and ATMs on campus and beyond. Students can withdraw cash at virtually any ATM in the country – and many overseas! To avoid unnecessary fees, we recommend students look for non-surcharging CO-OP ATMs – they are easy to find, with over 30,000 locations nationwide. In fact, CO-OP is one of the world’s largest ATM networks and offers more ATMs than Chase or Wells Fargo.


Why is this better than opening an account at another bank?

Elevations Credit Union is the only branch on campus. We are a member-owned, not-for-profit financial cooperative that serves as a trusted alternative to traditional for-profit banks. Simply put: fewer fees, better rates, and personal service. Read more on the advantages Credit Unions offer over banks.


Why can't our student just keep an account at our out-of-state bank?

A local account allows easy access to their money and personalized problem solving if needed. Experts agree this is important when putting money management skills into practice and establishing good credit. If the bank isn’t local, students can quickly rack up foreign ATM fees and surcharges by using machines outside their bank's network. Elevations Credit Union has a branch on campus, and 3 more in Boulder. And there are plenty of no-surcharge CO-OP ATMs – 25 in Boulder (8 right on campus), and over 30,000 nationwide — more than ANY bank.


Is Buff One Banking required?

Buff One Banking is a smart choice. Most students need a local checking account. As the Credit Union for the University of Colorado, we provide students with financial skills and training they'll use throughout their lives. We've put together a collection of user-friendly services to help students take control of cash flow and establish a positive credit history – without getting gouged with high fees and interest rates.


How about some peace of mind for the Parents?


How can we get money into our student's account from out of state?

Make deposits at over 5,000 nationwide CO-OP Shared Branches, or directly to the Credit Union by mail. Parents can also make deposits using nationwide CO-OP ATMs if they are joint on the account and order a Visa Debit Card. Some parents choose to designate an amount of their paycheck to be directly deposited into the student's account as a monthly allowance. Wire transfers are another option for fast transfers of cash.

How can we monitor our student's account?

With Joint Ownership, parents have full access to the account. Joint owners are held financially responsible for any defaults or overdrafts. As a joint owner, parents are also eligible for a Visa Debit Card, which can be used to make deposits at CO-OP ATMs.

Can we see our student's account online?

In order to view account information through online banking, you will need to be a joint or deputy on the account and have access to your student's online username and password.


Which choices are right for our student?


Can students come into a branch? What if our student signs up for Buff One Banking, then has a problem balancing the account? Will you charge a fee?

If there is a problem with the account, rest assured that we will help your student solve it. And in addition to regular teller services, Elevations Credit Union offers free one-on-one account counseling.

What's the difference between the Buff OneCard and the Buff One Debit Card?

The Buff OneCard is the student ID card issued through the University of Colorado Housing Department. It can be used to access a credit union account at ATMs with a PIN. The Buff One Debit Card is a separate Visa Debit Card that can be used to access a credit union account at ATMs and stores that accept Visa (millions of locations) with a signature or a PIN.

Students will automatically receive their Debit Card after they open an account. They should bring their student ID to a branch to activate it before using it at ATMs. Both of these card options are at no cost.

Is there a benefit to using online banking, Bill Pay, and eDocuments over paper checks and statements?

It's faster and easier. Students can access and control their finances while home on break or during travel. And if they move to a new address, there will be no delay in receiving statements and notices. Sending an electronic check through Bill Pay helps students avoid missing payments by scheduling checks in advance. With online banking, students know exactly how much is in their account at all times. Online banking, Bill Pay, and eDocuments are the safest choice and reduce the risk of identity theft by giving real-time access without paper records that would-be thieves can access.

How does Overdraft Protection work? Why does our student need overdraft protection?

Mistakes happen. At Elevations Credit Union, we want our student members to establish good credit, not rack up fees. We offer a Visa Credit Card with Overdraft Protection to protect student's accounts from "bounced" check fees. The Visa Credit Card has no annual fee, the same low rate for cash advances as for purchases, and forwards only the amount required to cover the overdraft.