Open a Direct Deposit Account

Signing a check

You need two things to open a direct deposit account.  You need a bank account and you need a company willing to deposit your check via direct deposit.

Almost all banks or credit unions offer direct deposit.  In fact, many will waive monthly fees if you have a paycheck deposited directly.  Direct deposit allows you to have your money already in the bank and ready to use on your given payday.  You don’t have to drive down to the bank and wait in line.  It is so much easier to have your paycheck deposited directly. 

Most companies like to have their payroll processed through direct deposit.  For most companies, it is actually cheaper for them to process directly as opposed to sending out paper checks.  The banks will charge them less and they don’t have to pay for the check itself.  They also don’t have to worry about employees losing a check and the cost of having to put a stop payment on it.

Most companies have a form they will want you to fill out in order to get the direct deposit started.  Some will ask for a voided check or deposit slip.  They will need your account number and they will need to know whether the account is a savings or checking account.   You should turn that form back into your human resources or payroll department.  It may take a paycheck or two for the direct deposit to become active.  In the meantime, you will continue to receive a paper check. 

Sometimes your bank or credit union will provide you with a form to help you get your employer started.  The banks and credit unions prefer direct deposit as well.  They don’t have to worry about whether a check is good or not, they already have the funds.  It also reduces the number of people that actually visit the bank leaving more time available for tellers to help others with more complicated transactions. 

So if you would like to get started with direct deposit, get your bank account open.  Make sure they accept direct deposit.  Ask your employer if they will deposit your check directly.  If they have a form, fill it out, attach any necessary bank information and return it to the appropriate person at your company.   If your employer doesn’t currently offer direct deposit, ask your bank for some help encouraging your employer to start.  The bank can point out the cost effectiveness of direct deposit.


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