Ever wonder what you need to open a banking account? I’m probably the worst person to advise anyone on the process that’s involved in opening a bank account. Seriously, the only time I’ve been in a bank or to a bank in the past 14 years is to have lunch with my husband or show off one of our new babies to his coworkers. He’s my banker – literally. He does all the banking for us, because all he has to do is go downstairs from his office and bank. Or, more accurately, send someone down to do it for him. What this means for me is that I have not done any banking in a decade and-a-half. But, the good news for you is that I’m married to a banker and he can adequately provide me with the type of information necessary to help those who are confused about the tedious process of opening a bank account.
Trust me; opening a bank account confuses me, too. I mean, I thought a license and some money were sufficient, but it turns out that I’m not entirely correct about any of that. So, according to financial professionals and my husband the very handsome banker, here’s what you need to open a banking account. And this applies to your first account, a new one, anything. WECU personal savings account in Blaine, WA can provide you with great banking options.
Start by Looking for Specific Things
Before you open any account, be sure you’ve done your homework. You’re going to want to compare banks so that you can choose the account that’s most important and valuable to you. This might mean changing banks or looking at an account you did not originally think you needed. Once you’ve chosen the type of account you want, it’s time to start thinking about other factors. How much is the monthly maintenance fee to keep your account open? Is there are minimum deposit or balance consideration? Do you pay a fee if you write more than a certain number of checks or use a certain amount of debit card purchases throughout the month? What’s the ATM fee? Is there an ATM somewhere near your home or office you can easily access?
Finally, is the bank federally insured? This is a big one. You do not want to open an account anywhere in which the Feds are not insuring your money. If something were to happen to your funds, you need to know that you’ll get them back. Check for logos in and around the bank that read “FDIC” insured. If you’re using a credit union, look for logos that read, “NCUA,” to insure that the bank is insured.
What you Need to Open a Banking Account
Now it’s time to get what you need so that you can open your account. The first item on this agenda is a form of identification. If you cannot prove you are who you say you are, you cannot open an account with a bank. You will need a piece of photo identification, such as a driver license, a passport, a government-issued photo identification card or even a military identification card. This is required; you don’t have this, you don’t get to open an account. Be sure that you have at least one of these items with you when you go to open your new bank account.
You also need to know your personal information. You won’t have to bring it to prove it, but you will need to provide it. There is an application process involved with your new bank account and opening it. This means you will need to be able to provide the bank with certain information, including your name, your date of birth, your Social Security Number and your address. You might even be asked for your email address, which is helpful but not always required. Your phone number is another item that the bank will require when it comes to opening your account.
A parent is also required if you are not yet 18-years of age. Your parent will need to be with you so that he or she can sign the legal documents that are associated with opening an account. This does not mean, however, that you have to add your parent to your account, give him or her a checkbook or provide your parent with a debit card. It simply means you are not legally able to sign the documentation provided to you and required to open an account, so you have to have a parent present to do so.
This might seem like common sense, but apparently it is not. You do need money to open an account. This can be in almost any form. You can bring cash, a check, a cashier’s check, a money order, a paycheck or a check written to you by someone else entirely – such as an insurance reimbursement check. You can bring your cash in form of change all rolled up, one dollar bills or whatever you prefer. However, note that you might need to bring a certain amount to open your account. Some banks have a minimum deposit required to do this, and others do not. This is not to say that your bank will require you keep this amount of money in your account at all times, but it might be necessary for the opening of your account.
Furthermore, it’s important to note that not all funds will be available immediately. Cash, yes. Checks, however, are sometimes held until they are able to be verified and then the money becomes available in your account. You will also not receive checks immediately, and you will likely have to wait for a debit card to arrive in the mail in a few business days. My husband’s bank, for instance, requires customers wait 7-10 business days for their cards to arrive. They are, however, working on a new product that will allow them to print cards in the bank for new customers. It all just depends on what you bank has to offer, what they want to offer and which bank you choose when opening a new account.
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