Whenever you decide to open a checking account, there are certain requirements that have to be fulfilled. Each bank has its own set of criteria. Once your account is open, there are requirements that have to be fulfilled if you want to avoid charges. Before you open a checking account, it's a good idea to check with several banks so you can see which bank will help you meet your own goals and objectives.
If you want to open a checking account you will need to have $50 to $100 as your opening deposit. This can vary from bank to bank. If you open an account with a check, your funds may not be readily available until after the check has cleared. The check-clearing process can vary. If your check is an out-of-state check, you may have to wait 10 business days before you can access the funds.
When you open a checking account, you may have to maintain a minimum balance. If your balance goes below the balance, you could be assessed a fee. Your minimum balance could be dependent on your total relationship with the bank. For example, if your minimum balance for a checking account is $50 and you have another type of account with the bank such as a credit card, with a balance of $100, the bank will consider you to have met your minimum balance requirement even though your checking account balance is $10.
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If you want to open a checking account you cannot be on the Chex Systems database of customers. Chex Systems is a company that keeps a record of customers who may have abused their checking account privileges in the past. If you had fraudulent activity on an account or you had non-sufficient fund fees that were not paid, you could be reported to Chex Systems. Once you are on Chex Systems you remain in its database for five years. It can become difficult to open a checking account at this point. When you attempt to open a checking account, that bank will contact Chex Systems to see if you are on its list. If you pay the amount of money owed to a previous bank, some banks may allow you to open an account even though the five years has not elapsed.
If you want to open a checking account you must be of legal age. The legal age is usually 18, but it can differ from state to state. Depending on the state, a minor and an unrelated adult may not be able to open a joint checking account.The only exception is when the minor is receiving Social Security and the adult is a representative payee who handles the account for the minor. One other scenario is when there is a minor and an adult has power of attorney, which gives them certain authority. With a general power of authority they will be able to handle banking transactions.
When you open a checking account you will need identification. Some banks require two pieces of picture identification, while some only require one. The identification that is accepted by most banks includes a driver's license, state ID, military ID or a passport. If a bank requires two pieces of identification, and you only have one of the aforementioned items, you may be able to use a utility bill no more than 60 days old, along with one of the other pieces of identification.