How to Open a Bank Account

By admin


There are lots of reasons to open a new bank account. Getting your first job, opening a business, or starting a new chapter in your life are all qualifying events. But the task can seem daunting – how much money do you need? Which bank is best? How long does the process take?

The first step is to relax! Setting up a new bank account is relatively painless as nearly every bank follows a version of the same process. Here’s how to get started:

Assess your needs:

Ask yourself what type of account you’re looking to obtain. Are you interested in a no-frills account for everyday expenses, or do you want to put money away for the future? Banks may charge different fees for different account types, so decide upfront what you’re looking for.

Checking accounts are used for frequent and common purchases like groceries, rent, and household needs. These accounts usually offer convenient features such as debit cards and online bill pay.

How to open a bank account

Savings accounts are a great option for putting away money that you probably won’t need to touch. This type of account provides a small amount of interest, and in the event that you need to access your cash a savings account is easy to tap. But be warned – federal law limits your withdrawals or transfers to six events per statement.

Money market accounts and certificates of deposit (CD’s) earn even more interest than a savings account, but they come with much tighter restrictions on when and how often you can make withdrawals.

Are you 18 years old?

How to open a bank account

You’ll need to be 18 years old to open your own account. Teenagers can get an account with their name on it (gotta stash all that babysitting money somewhere!) but will need a parent or guardian to sign on as a co-owner.

Choose a provider:

While it’s free to open a bank account, it’s not always free to keep it. Monthly maintenance fees, overdraft fees, and withdrawal charges can apply and vary widely between institutions, so do your research!

How to open a bank account

You may also want to consider the location of bank branches and ATMs in your neck of the woods. A no-fee checking account may sound great until you learn that the closest ATM is on the other side of town. This is especially important if you are the type of customer who wants to do their banking in person. If you prefer a completely online banking experience, location may take a backseat to other factors.

Give them the info:

Now that you’ve determined what account type and which bank, you’ll need to share some of your personal information. Banks ask for the following from new account holders:

That last requirement can be tricky. Federal law mandates that banks obtain the physical, brick-and-mortar street address where you live. PO boxes are not permitted. However, you can usually submit a PO box as your preferred mailing address.

If you’re opening a joint account, you’ll need the above information for everyone whose name will be listed on the account.

Deposit your starting funds:

Most banks require a small initial deposit, somewhere in the neighborhood of $5.00 to $25.00, to get you started. These funds can be deposited as cash, or you can provide the account and routing number of a pre-existing account to have the funds sent over electronically. Some banks will allow the initial deposit to be made by debit or credit card, but this is less common. Regardless of the deposit method, funds should be available within a few business days.

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About admin

The Admin Team at focuses on providing the best information related to finance for individuals living on Main Street America.

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