Steps to Opening a Bank Account

photo by Andrea Piacquadio

The steps to open a bank account are:

  • Decide which bank or credit union is for you by looking at the services it offers, the types of accounts you can have, and the fees it charges
  • Make sure you meet the minimum qualifications:
  • Be at least 18 years old (you can open an account if under 18, but may have to have a parent or guardian on the account with you)
  • Have a valid picture ID
  • Have a minimum amount of money to deposit (will be listed on the bank/ credit union website)
  • Visit the financial institution in person, and speak with a banker to open up an account

Some questions to ask when opening an account are:

  • Is there a monthly fee for maintaining this account? If so, what is it?
  • Is there a minimum balance that I must keep within this account? If so, what is it? And what sorts of fees apply if I go under that limit?
  • Is there a limit to the number of transactions (deposits/withdrawals, check writing, ATM uses) I have per month? If so, how many do I get of each? What sorts of fees apply if I go over my limit?
  • Where can I withdraw cash without paying any fees? What is the fee for using an ATM machine that doesn’t belong to this bank?
  • Most banks have an online banking option. By using online banking, you will be able to check your account balance daily and monitor your account activity.