How to Link Your Checking Account to Your E*TRADE Account

You can link your checking account to your E*TRADE account.
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E-Trade, which is also written as E*TRADE, is an online brokerage firm allowing users to make a number of financial transactions on the stock market. The interface allows E-Trade account holders to deposit money from an external account, then use it to buy and sell stock directly on the stock market. E-Trade is one of the most popular online stock broker sites, praised for its ease of use and relatively low trading fees. It can be used online through their website or via an app on a mobile phone or tablet.


Adding Funds to an E-Trade Account

Before you can start trading on the stock market, you'll need to provide funds to your E-Trade account. The team at E-Trade explains that there are four ways to get money into your account: you can transfer money from a bank account, wire money from that account, transfer an entire existing brokerage account or deposit a check from a bank account.

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A standard money transfer can take up to three business days and can be set to repeat on a schedule if desired; a wire transfer completes in a single business day and requires submitting a request to your bank to securely wire the money to E-Trade. If you have an existing brokerage account, such as another investment account or a retirement fund, you can transfer the entire account into E-Trade. Finally, you can deposit a check, either by mail or by using the E-Trade app to electronically deposit the funds into your account.


Linking a Checking Account

You have the option to link your actual checking account with your E-Trade account. While you should be able to make a one-time transfer, linking the two accounts makes it easy to transfer money back and forth between the two institutions. This is a good idea if you plan to invest a certain amount of money per month into the stock market, for example, or if you'll want to transfer earnings back into your checking account rather than reinvesting them. Luckily, linking your accounts together is a fairly easy process.


Once you're logged into E-Trade, either on their website or using the app, look for the Accounts section and then select Transfer Money once you're in. You should then see a choice to add an external account.

To add a checking account, you'll need to know your routing number and your account number; these are available through your banking website, or if you have a check available, they are the first and second sets of numbers at the bottom of the check, respectively. Enter these two numbers as requested and click to agree with the terms and conditions of the transfer.


Verification and Activation

Once this information is in, you'll want to select Verify External Accounts and then Activate Outgoing Transfers, which will allow you to move money between an external account and your E-Trade account. There are two ways to link your checking account. For instant verification, you can enter the user ID and password you use on your bank's website, which will allow E-Trade to log in as you and manage financial transfers.

If you don't want to do this, you can use deposit verification; E-Trade will make two small deposits into your checking account, and you'll have to come back to the E-Trade account and confirm both amounts. Once you've confirmed both, you'll be able to transfer money between the external checking account and your E-Trade account. The second method is likely to take a few business days, but you'll want to pay attention and confirm the amounts as quickly as possible or the verification will reset. If E-Trade can't verify a bank account, you may get an external account validation failed E-Trade message and you may need to start over.


From there, you can also move money out of your E-Trade account using your checking account, the team at the Nest explains. You'll transfer funds from the brokerage account back to your checking account this way. You can also do an E-Trade wire transfer out if you need to.