Four Steps to a New Checking Account

Checking accounts are an essential money management tool every person. Whether you are going to college, getting your first apartment or going through a divorce a checking account can be an extremely liberating financial tool to utilize.

If you are finally ready to open a checking account, there are some things to consider before taking the leap.

Step 1: Where do you want to open your account?

The first step is contemplating where you want to open this account. If you are going to school out of state, many local places do not like accepting checks with out of state addresses printed on them.

Do you like supporting your local economy? Then your neighborhood bank branch will be a great way to contribute to the health of the community. Perhaps, you really do not care and just want it to be totally free checking with no hidden fees, then opening an online checking account may be for you.

Step 2: Decide what features you want

You must also decide how you want to use the checking account and what features do you need. Checking accounts allow the depositor to use a variety of forms to pay off their debts including paper checks, electronic transfers and debit cards.

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If all of those are enticing options when you are finally ready to open your checking account you need to make sure that all payment forms will be provided to you as part of your checking account agreement.

Step 3: Do you want a savings account, too?

Some banks may require you to also open a savings account with your checking account, or even make it more enticing for you if you do. One national bank branch offers complimentary overdraft protection on a checking account as long as a savings account with a $300 balance is directly linked.

Step 4: Get your first deposit together

Additionally you will need to make sure you have the financial resources required to open up a checking account. Many banks allow customers to open up checking accounts with as little as $5. If that is the case, make sure you will not eventually get penalized with an unexpected fee.

Opening a checking account is an important rite of passage for anyone who is trying to gain financial independence. By taking the time to research your options, reading all the associated details and doing your best to manage your financial resources it is sure to be a positive experience.

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About the Author

These articles are written by the in-house GOBankingRates team.