When you need a bank account, it can be tempting to open a checking account at the bank down the street, but that might not be your best option. Here are four questions to ask before opening your first bank account so you can make the right decision for your financial needs.
Are There Any Fees?
One of the most important things to consider when opening a checking account is how much you’ll be charged. Many different types of accounts have different fees, so it’s important to shop around and find the best deal for you.
Credit unions usually offer free checking accounts that are often available to customers who meet certain requirements, like making direct deposits. Determine the type of bank account you need before proceeding.
Some banks offer free checking accounts, while others charge a fee if you don’t maintain a minimum balance. Be sure to ask about ATM fees as well. Make sure to read all the fine print before deciding which bank is right for your needs.
Does My Account Offer Overdraft Protection?
When you open a checking account, it’s important to consider what overdraft protection services they offer. You can opt to link a savings account, and they can transfer funds automatically if you overdraft. Some banks will allow accidental charges to go through, but they may have hefty fees associated with covering this budgeting error.
Are Your Locations Accessible?
The convenience of access is probably the most important question to consider before opening your first checking account. It’s not only your main way of accessing your money but also an easy portal for electronic bill payments and other financial services.
You should have access to these features without any hassle or extra fees:
- Depositing checks with ease
- Making withdrawals
- Transferring funds between accounts
- Making bill payments online or via phone banking through the bank’s website or app
- Using ATMs conveniently located throughout the city or state where you live and work
Are There Minimum Balance Requirements?
Banks have operating expenses that they must cover to stay in business. That’s why banks have minimum balance requirements. Another reason banks require a minimum balance is that it helps ensure that the customers who keep an account at the bank will be serious about using it regularly. These regulations can add up for you as the customer. Know your expectations to avoid any associated fees if you fall below your minimum.
Choose an Account That Offers Online Banking Services
Opening a checking account is an exciting time. You’re setting yourself up for success and taking the first step toward building your financial foundation. Many factors go into choosing the right bank, but one thing to remember is that access to online banking services can be a huge time-saver. Think about what you need in a checking account before opening one, and consider giving a credit union checking account a try today.