Opening your first bank account is a very exciting thing to do. It is the first big step in your journey to independence. Taking a look at all options before you acquire an account will give you the best chances of saving more money. The bank isn’t just a place to keep your money safe. It is a place that you will be visiting often throughout your life. Choose wisely so that you get the most out of your bank account.
Here are some considerations to look at when you are opening your first bank account:
The most important consideration that should be made is the bank that you will choose. The bank should be someplace that you feel at home at. It is important that the employees are friendly and helpful to you. You will have to deal with these people for many years to come. The better the atmosphere is within the bank walls, the better your relationship with them will become. This will make it much easier to do other transactions, such as loans.
Get recommendations from others about your bank. Some banks will come more highly recommended from your friends and family than others. Banks seem to change hands quite often. This isn’t the case with all banks. For instance, credit unions usually stay fairly in tact. Regular banks change hands so quickly, at times, that you don’t even know that it took place. That means that you may not be getting the service that you signed up for.
Type of Account
You must consider the type of account that you wish to open. Checking vs. savings accounts are on opposite ends of the spectrum. You should have both because both offer a different service. If you have chosen to put your money into a credit union rather than a regular bank, you will almost always have to have a savings account as a base. There is also usually a minimum amount of money (about $5.00) that must remain in a savings account at all times. Everyone should have a savings account in order to save for emergencies and for the future. You will also be able to accrue interest on a savings account.
A checking account is often required in order to obtain an ATM card. Checking accounts are necessary for other reasons as well. Many people do their banking through ATM’s, direct deposits and online. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t keep a supply of checks on hand. There are some businesses that do not accept debit cards but that you would rather not give cash. Writing out a check to a company is an extra receipt of sorts.
There are many other things that you should take into considerations about bank account types. Most banks offer different types of checking accounts. For instance, some checking accounts offer a way to make interests on them. These type of checking accounts usually require a larger sum of money to start and you must keep a minimum amount in the account at all times in order to keep it open.
Percentage on Interest Rates
Banks vary as to the interest rate they pay on accounts the earn interest. You should look very closely at what the different banks offer. It can make a huge difference to your bottom line. If one bank offers 5% and the bank down the road offers 8%, you are obviously much better off to go to the bank down the street to open your first account if you want to earn the most money out of it.
Keep in mind to check when the bank is open for business. Will their hours allow you to get there when you need to without disrupting the rest of your life to do it. Look for a bank that stays open a little later one or two days a week. Most banks open on Saturdays as well, but not all of them do. Does the bank allow you to have an online presence with them that allows you access to your account all the time? If you can’t access your bank with reasonable ease, you have half the battle won.
Does the bank have a lot of locations. Some banks have locations throughout the country that will allow you to access your accounts no matter where you are. This is a great feature for those who travel a lot. You also want to know that your bank is right down the street. You don’t want to travel too far in order to get to your bank. If you can’t get in your car and be at your bank in less than twenty minutes, you should reconsider where you are putting your money.
Find out what the fees are for any account that you may open. For instance, what happens if you accidentally overdraft your checking account? Some fees can go as high as $35.00 if that happens. There are other fees to consider as well. These can include stop payment fees, charges for copies of your checks and many other things. Get a list of from the bank that explains all the fees that could be associated with the account so that you can compare it with other banks.
Do a lot of research before you open your first bank account. It will mean the difference between getting a mediocre bank that doesn’t offer much to its customers and a great bank that is always there for you. Whether you are opening a checking or savings account, it is wise to know what you are getting into before you deposit your money into a new account.