5 Financial Apps All College Students Should Know About

A smartphone is standing on a pile of coins.

Flickr user drew_dslr

Most teenagers get their first experience with handling their own finances in college. If you have never handled money before, this can be a reality check as you realize you can no longer depend on your parents for pocket money or planning expenses. 

Fortunately, technology has made this transition easier with several apps to help you take control of your financial life and grow into your adult role. If you are struggling to stay on top of your finances, check out these apps, which can give you some much-needed help.

Maker sure to check out our list of money-saving apps too!

#1 LearnVest

LearnVest is a budgeting app that makes it easy for you to manage and track your finances by linking directly with your bank account. It automatically categories your expenses into entertainment, restaurants, groceries and other divisions that enable you to track where you are spending and how you can minimize your expenses.

You can also set up budgets for various essentials such as insurance, rent, and loans as well as other payments that you need to make regularly.

Commonbond company logo.

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#2 Mint

This is another budgeting app that links to your bank account directly and helps you track expenses across various categories. It also enables you to set budgets. What sets this app apart is that you can link it to your credit card as well, and it and ensures that you CANNOT charge any amount on it that you cannot afford to pay back. This is especially beneficial for those ‘swipe-happy’ first-time credit card users who still haven’t figured out how to restrain their spending.

#3 Venmo

Venmo is basically a digital wallet that enables you to make payments to others who have registered on Venmo. This makes it extremely convenient when you are dealing with multiple splits and have to collect money from multiple people you don’t live close to, or when you have a friend who never seems to have cash on him.

You can always link your Venmo account to your bank account and transfer funds to it directly as well, apart from transferring money from your bank account/ debit card to the app if you need to pay someone.

#4 PayPal

PayPal is perhaps the most well-known app on this list. Not only does it function as a mobile wallet that you can use to send and receive money from your friends, it is also a platform that is universally accepted for transfers in exchange for goods or services. So if you have an entrepreneurial spirit or are looking for some extra income through freelancing, this is perhaps one app you absolutely need to have on your phone.

Even if you choose to use PayPal only for purchases, its ‘buyer-protection’ feature that allows refunds to the buyer in case of non-delivery of the order makes it a trusted partner for students.

#5 Robinhood

While the other apps were mostly about managing or tracking expenses and transferring money, this is an app which helps you GROW your money. Robinhood allows you to trade stocks free of charge and allows you to manage your portfolio through your phone.

It provides real-time data, regular notifications, and instant execution. It makes managing your portfolio a breeze and enables you to make money on the go.

Use College Raptor’s free Student Loan Finder to compare lenders and interest rates side by side!



Lender Rates (APR) Eligibility
Earnest company logo.
Variable APR: 1.74% - 7.99%*
Fixed APR: 2.99% - 7.99%*
Undergraduate and Graduate
Lendkey company logo.
Variable APR: 2.05% - 5.25%*
Fixed APR: 2.69% - 7.93%*
Undergraduate, Graduate, Parent PLUS
Credible company logo.
Variable APR: 1.86% - 8.38%*
Fixed APR: 2.35% - 8.73%*
Undergraduate and Graduate
Laurel road company logo.
Variable APR: 1.89% - 6.20%*
Fixed APR: 3.49% - 6.30%*
Undergraduate and Graduate
Commonbond company logo.
Variable APR: 4.60% - 8.25%*
Fixed APR: 4.49% - 7.74%*
Undergraduate, Graduate, Parent PLUS
Fixed APR: 3.94% - 8.48%*
Undergraduate, Graduate, Parent PLUS
VISIT ISL Education Lending
Variable APR: 3.49% - 7.99%*
Fixed APR: 3.49% - 7.99%*
Undergraduate and Graduate
VISIT College Ave
Variable APR: 1.86% - 6.01%*
Fixed APR: 3.39% - 5.99%*
Undergraduate and Graduate, Parent PLUS

*APR includes a 0.25% interest rate reduction for enrollment in automatic payments.

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