A checking account is one of those fundamental “financial” products. Checking accounts are used in many financial transactions that include depositing our paychecks, paying bills and using a debit card.
To open a checking account do the following:
- Ask yourself how you will be using the checking account.
- Research banks and credit unions that meet those needs. Consider online banks too.
- Open an account at a branch or online. You’ll be required to prove your identity and residence. A government issued ID and a utility bill usually does the trick. If you’re applying online, you’ll be required to answer a few security questions based on your credit report.
- Order checks if necessary and request a debit card.
- Make note of the ABA number (bank routing number) and account number for direct deposit enrollments.
- Make a deposit into the checking account.
- Set up your payroll direct deposit and bill payments.
Things to consider when opening a checking account:
- Minimum balance requirements or debit card usage requirements.
- Direct deposit or ACH requirements
- Monthly service charges and fees
- Debit card fees
- ATM locations
- Bill payment and transfer options