Should You Open A Checking Account? 5 Things To Consider Before Applying
There are a lot of many different accounts that cater to different needs and one of the most popular and convenient for commercial transactions would be a checking account. Before you open one, there are a few things to consider if, indeed, it is right for you. Here are some of them.
Choose the Right Account
Different accounts call for different minimum balance requirements and fee schedules. This varies depending on the bank you choose. You have to take these into consideration and determine the kind you will be able to maintain easier in the long run. If you choose smartly, you may be able to avoid high monthly banking fees, high-interest rates, and other unnecessary burdens.
As distinguished from other accounts, a checking account allows you to write checks to access your funds. A checking account is convenient if you want to pay bills by mail or do so in person. Doing so is usually cheaper than purchasing money orders to pay bills and these can be safer than carrying cash by the bundles.
Get Your Documents in Order
The first step in opening a checking account is when you are able to prove your identity. In this era, banks are strictly charged with verifying the identity of anyone who has an interest in opening a checking or savings account. This only means that you will need two different forms of identifying information. The first is a photo identification, such as a driver’s license or a State-issued ID, while the second would be your Social Security card. Your identification has to match the name you want listed on the checking account.
Consider What is Convenient
Different banks operate in different ways. Some people choose a bank that is close to home or work while others choose where their paychecks come from so that they can access their money as quickly as possible. You should find out what the opening hours of different banks are. If you travel frequently, find out what banks have branches in the cities that you visit often.
You might find yourself visiting your bank very often for transactions. This is why it is important to find a bank that fits your lifestyle.
Look at the Fine Print Closely
They say that the devil lies in the details, and you might be set up for a lot of surprises when you do not check the fine print. Be sure to take a look at the details, such as the description of the account fees, ATM fees, debit card fees and for checking accounts in particular. Also look at how many free checks you can write each month and the minimum balance requirements. You should also check the information on how to order copies of canceled checks if you do not receive them.
Be Sure to Know What Happens if you Make a Mistake
Be aware of and consider your overdraft options. You should keep a running total of your checking account so that you would never overdraw. However, mistakes really do happen every once in a while. Do keep in mind, though, that there are certain fees and penalties that go with returned checks.
You have to understand what can happen when you overdraw. A lot of banks allow you to set up an automatic transfer from a savings account to your checking account when you make such a mistake. Other banks will offer an overdraft line of credit with a transfer fee.
Convenience, penalties, charges and these things are the primary considerations when considering a checking account. What other benefits can be had from a checking account? Share with us your thoughts in the comments below.
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