You’ve checked out interest rates. You’ve looked at the different account types. You know all the different ways that you will have access to your money. You know how to make a deposit. You’ve checked out the legitimacy of your chosen bank. But how do you actually get that account open?
- You new bank will have an online application for you to fill out. You will need to fill out the application and provide certain pieces of personal information. For a resident of the United States, you will usually need to provide a social security number as well as your birth date. You will also have to provide your driver’s license information online. With the Homeland Security laws in place today, banks and other financial institutions are required to know their clients. One of the easiest ways for them to fulfill the requirements is with your driver’s license information.
- You will usually have to print out the application, sign it and mail it in. You may be asked to include a copy of your driver’s license also. You will have to agree to the terms with an electronic signature. Often this is a button that you have to click if you have read and agree to the terms. You should read the terms. You agree to certain rules and agree to accept responsibility for your actions with regard to the account.
- It may take a few days to a few weeks to get the account actually open. This covers the time needed for you to mail in the application, the bank to process it and then to notify you. Now the account is open and you will need to get your money transferred to your new account. You should already know how to make deposits to your new account. Whether you need to mail in a check or can transfer money online, you should use the method you are most comfortable with.
- The hardest part of this process is choosing the bank. You want to make sure that the bank offers the options that you need. It can help your credit score if you show a history with your financial institution. Not only does that pertain to credit cards and other lenders, but a lengthy history with a bank is helpful also. So make sure that you have chosen your bank wisely. Do your research and try not to hop around from bank to bank.
- Make sure you check your statements regularly. It is a great idea to balance them. Not only does it help you keep track of your money, but it also helps you monitor the account to make sure that there are no bank errors. Regardless of how good your bank is, errors sometimes happen. The sooner you catch them the easier they are to fix.