Open a Bank Account
What Do You Need to Open a Bank Account?
Opening a bank account is an important welcome into the financial world. Putting your money into a bank account keeps it secure and readily available for use. When working with a financial institution, you’re doing more than just opening an account. You’re choosing a partner that offers financial tools and benefits that fit your lifestyle.
Financial access as simple as opening an account shouldn’t be taken for granted. Many adults around the world are considered “unbanked”, or not having a bank account, although the number is decreasing. By taking the first step to research what is needed to open a bank account, you’re on the right path to improved financial stability!
What Do You Need to Open a Bank Account?
To open a bank account, you’ll be asked for a government-issued photo ID, and perhaps other personally-identifiable information such as your Social Security number, date of birth and phone number. Confirming your identity is essential when opening a bank account.
What you need to open a bank account:
- Government-issued photo ID
- Social Security number
- Date of birth
- Phone number
Depending on your scenario, you may need a few other items, too. If you’re under 18, you may need your parent or guardian on the account as a co-owner. If you’re opening a joint account, you’ll need identification details for the other person, too.
Which banking product is right for you?
Now that introductions are out of the way – have you considered what type of product you’re looking for? There are a variety of account types to choose from depending on your goals.
- Are you looking to earn interest on the money you’re depositing? A savings account may be the best route.
- Are you looking to have the ability to make payments or write checks? A checking account is best for that.
As you explore your options, take into consideration any associated fees, restrictions or added features between products.
How to Open a Savings Account
How to open a savings account begins with the basics: a government-issued photo ID, Social Security number, date of birth and phone number. Make sure you’ve chosen the savings account that’s best for you by considering the following things:
- Initial deposit requirements: The amount of money you need to deposit upon opening the account.
- Account minimum: The monthly minimum amount of money you must maintain to avoid fees.
- Monthly fee: The monthly fee that will be deducted from your account if the minimum required balance is not maintained.
- Interest rates: You’ll want to look for the APY (annual percentage yield) which tells you your rate of interest to be earned for the entire year.
How to fund your savings and checking account
Funding your account is possible through a few avenues. You can deposit cash, or a check or money order to your account. You can set up direct deposit through your employer, so your earnings will be directly sent to your account. You can also transfer funds electronically from one financial institution to another.
How to Open a Checking Account
Opening a checking account is just as easy as opening a savings account! Once the bank has verified all of your personal information, you can move forward. Factors to keep in mind when opening a checking account include:
- Initial deposit requirements, account minimums, and monthly fees: All of these factors are just as important to consider when opening a checking account.
- Convenient ATM access: If the flexibility to have cash on-the-go is important to you, ask about ATM access.
- Rewards: Some banks will offer interest or rewards as an added bonus to the convenience and flexibility of a checking account.
If this isn’t your first checking account
Typically, people have their checking account hooked up to many other facets of their life. If you have another checking account open and you’re looking to transfer funds from that account to your new one, make sure you consider the other places that the former account was hooked up.
- Make a note to quickly update your direct deposit paperwork.
- Adjust any online bill payments to withdraw from your new account. This could be credit card payments, utilities, subscriptions or memberships and more.
Now you can begin using your checking account! You may receive a few important items in the mail like a debit card or checkbook. At this point, it’s important to explore the features and benefits available to you like online bill pay, mobile check deposit or text and email alerts related to account security.
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