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How To Open A Savings/Checking Account

April 28, 2016How to

Opening a Checking and/or a savings account is easy and is a very smart financial decision for your money. By opening a checking account you provide a safe, secure place to store your money while still being able to access it at any time. Equally beneficial, a savings account can help your money grow as its kept safe in an account. If you’d like to open either a checking or savings account, here are a few steps you can follow to get started.

The first thing you need to do is research. Find a few banks and credit unions with branches in areas that you visit often and compare the benefits they offer.

It’s important to look at the following:

  • Customer service reputation
  • Interest rates
  • Transfer limits
  • Specialty accounts
  • ATM accessibility
  • Additional requirements the accounts have
  • Fees associated with the accounts

Budget PiggyBank (SE)

Of all these qualities, fees are often most confusing and more difficult to understand. There are several fees that you should make sure to look at when comparing financial institutions. The most common fee that members will encounter is an ATM fee. These fees usually range between $3-$5 and are assessed as the result of using the ATM of a bank that you don’t have an account with.  Credit union members don’t encounter this fee as often because most credit unions will allow other credit union members to use their ATMs at no charge.

(Learn more about the different fee types that Beehive Federal Credit Union members may encounter.)

  • As part of your search, try and find a financial institution that meets your needs and lifestyle. Debit cards with cash back options are great for those that plan to use the card for every day expenses. Those that plan to primarily store their money for savings would benefit most from a savings account with a good interest rate.
  • Once you have compared your options and decided on a bank or credit union you’ll need to go to the local branch and speak to one of its representatives. Let them know that you’d like to open an account and they’ll direct you to an employee that can help you.
  • When you meet with the representative to open an account make sure you have some cash on hand. Most banks and credit unions require an initial deposit that can only be removed when the account is closed. Also make sure you’re able to provide them with basic personal information, including a form of ID and your Social Security Number. This helps ensure the security of your account.
  • After providing the previously mentioned information to the representative and filling out any required forms, you’ll need to make a PIN or a Personal Identification Number. These are usually 4 digits long and help prevent unauthorized access to your account. Make sure your PIN is something that you can remember easily, but isn’t a number that others can easily guess or figure out. For example, a PIN like ‘1234’ or using your birthday as your PIN is often discouraged because it is easy to guess.
  • All that’s left to do is receive your card. Some banks and credit unions are able to provide a debit card the same day that an account is opened while others require a few days for the card to be made. Even if you have to wait, you’ll still have peace of mind knowing that your money is safe, secure, and ready for you to use whenever you need it.