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  4. How to open a checking account

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:
  1. Ask yourself how you will be using the checking account.
  2. Research banks and credit unions that meet those needs. Consider online banks too.
  3. 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.
  4. Order checks if necessary and request a debit card.
  5. Make note of the ABA number (bank routing number) and account number for direct deposit enrollments.
  6. Make a deposit into the checking account.
  7. 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

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