If you’ve never had a bank account before or it’s been a while since the last time you’ve opened one, you may be confused about the requirements to open a bank account, the documents you may need and how much money you need to open a bank account. Well, worry no more, in this article we will talk about everything you need to open a bank account in the United States.
What do you need to open a bank account?
The requirements for opening a bank account in the United States are very simple - you can open an account if you’re 18 years old or older. If you’re between 14 and 18 years old, you need to have one of your parents’ or a legal guardian’s name on the account as well. In most cases, you also need to have a Social Security Number but some banks will let you open an account if you have a document that shows that you’re not eligible for a Social Security Number, for instance, if you’re not a US citizen. You’ll also need an ID to open a bank account.
How much do you need to open a bank account?
You may think that if you want to open a bank account, you need to put a lot of money in it right away, but this is a myth. A lot of online-only banks don’t have a minimum initial deposit, so you don’t need to put any money into the account, but even for brick-and-mortar banks, there are many options that only ask for a $5 deposit when you open an account. We’ve seen some larger banks ask for $25-30 deposit upon opening an account, but overall, you don’t need much to become an owner of a bank account.
While most banks don’t require you to put a lot of money into your account when you open them, a lot of accounts come with minimum balance requirements. If the sum in your account dips below the minimum requirement, you’ll be charged a fee, so you want to make sure you are aware of the rules for your account.
What do I need to open a checking account?
If you want to open a checking account, you’ll need to fill out a checking account application. For that, you will need to have your date of birth, mailing address and full legal name ready. You’ll also need your Social Security Number or Taxpayer Identification Number and one or two forms of ID. This can be your passport, driver’s license, social security card or even a credit card. It’s important to remember to get a debit card linked to your checking account so you will be able to spend money in the account without using checks, as they often cost extra. If you want your paychecks to be deposited directly into your checking account, ask for a direct deposit form and give it to the payroll official at your workplace.
What do I need to open a savings account?
Opening a savings account is very similar to opening a checking account - the process and the documents required are the same. However, you should keep in mind that the Federal Reserve puts a limit on the number of transfers and withdrawals you can make from a savings account, the number of these transactions is capped at 6. If possible, you should open your checking and savings accounts at the same bank because this way it will be much easier to transfer funds between them.