Personal Finance

How to Open a Bank Account

If you need to open a new bank account, it is important to weigh different components of your your personal finances before jumping in. A bank account is something we all need to function on a daily basis.

Whether you are new to personal finance or starting a family and want to be more responsible with your money; opening a bank account is the first step towards your future financial goals.

Opening a bank account provides you with added security and protection for your finances. You can sleep comfortable at night knowing your money is being held securely by your bank.

Choosing Your Bank

Choosing your bank shouldn’t be hard, but it also should be done with care and consideration. The reality is, if you are making money, you should always have a bank account. While there are many different banking options available, you generally will be required to bring the same materials to open a bank account.

What You Need to Open Bank Account:

  • Valid form of identification
  • Social security number
  • Valid proof of address

There are multiple banking options that you can choose from, but based on your own personal needs you will have to make the right choice.

For example, if your employer pays part of your paycheck in cash, you will need to find a banking branch in your local area rather than an online banking option. However, if you get paid by check or direct deposit, an online bank is a great option for you.

It is helpful to use a bank that has an easy-to-navigate online user experience along with local branches in your area. This gives you the ability to bank online along with meet with in-person representatives in case you have any questions.

Find Bank Accounts with Benefits

It’s very common for banks to offer special enrollment deals or exclusive programs that new members can gain access to. While freebies and rewards are always nice, be careful about what banks advertise and what they can actually provide.

Many banks tend to over promise and under deliver which is what you want to avoid. Finding the right bank should revolve around your needs and the basic fundamentals that you want from a bank.

Basic Things to Expect From Your Bank:

  • Online banking and/or a a mobile app
  • Local banking branches (preferably nationwide)
  • Zero fees and transparency

In the old days, banks were always in-person transactions that required a bank tellers help. Today, it’s almost impossible to come across a bank that does not have online banking and mobile banking apps.

While we urge all banks to develop an online banking portal, local banking branches can never be replaced. Having a local banking partner that you can go sit down with a financial professional cannot be overlooked. They can help you discuss your personal finances including your credit, your eligibility for loans and retirement planning as well.

It’s hard to imagine that you have to worry about transparency with your bank, but that is a non-negotiable. You should aim for zero banking fees and transparency when you open a bank account.

Sources: Consumer Finance, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Capital One

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