How to Open A Bank Account For Free
Thinking of opening a bank account online? But not sure how to get started? Worried about fees and unexpected costs? There’s no need to fret. In fact, it’s actually very easy to open a free bank account online. That’s right! We said free. We’re going to walk you through all the steps. Including why you should have a bank account and how to get one started for yourself. In addition, we’ll show you how to do it all at no charge. Let’s get you on the way to understanding how to open a bank account for free today.
Why Do You Need a Bank Account?
It Keeps Your Finances Organized
If you’re making it through life without a bank account, that’s impressive. Living without a bank account is much more difficult than living with one.
You’re probably spending extra money and extra time to keep your finances in order. A bank account helps you keep everything organized, and is a safer way to store your finances.
However, about 9 million households in the U.S. are “unbanked” – that is, they don’t have a bank account – according to the FDIC.Without a bank, you won’t be able to use things like money transfers, check cashing locations, cash, online money services, and prepaid debit cards.
This creates a challenging, tangled web of financial information to keep track of. A bank lets you do everything in one place: deposits, withdrawals, transactions, and so on.
There are many added expenses that get incurred without a bank account. For example, most check cashing stores have fees that they take out when they cash the check. Even if the fee doesn’t sound too bad for just that once, doing it every pay period adds up fast.
Money orders also require fees. In addition, prepaid debit cards have the highest fees of all.
Bank accounts keep your money safer, too. Obviously, storing lots of cash means you are at risk for having it stolen. A bank account lets you save money safely and also keep track of how much is going in and out of your account each month. This makes budgeting much easier.
It Saves You Time
It’s also very time-consuming to operate without a bank. Without a bank, you will need to stand in line for a money order or to cash a check. In fact, you will have to wait to get the paycheck in the first place, since there’s no direct deposit option without a bank. Paying bills with cash means traveling to pay them in person.
Today, all bank accounts can begin online with no need to enter a branch. There’s no need to make a time consuming in-person visit to a bank, and you will be able to perform almost all your financial transactions online or using a card once you have your bank account set up.
Let’s learn how to open a bank account for free online today.
How to Open a Free Bank Account Online
Learning how to open a bank account for free is actually a very simple process. We’ve broken it down into five easy steps, so that you can open a bank account without any stress.
Documents You Need To Open A Checking Account
1. Consider Your Needs
The first step is figuring out what kind of checking account and which bank is best for you.
Consider location: if you’re going to be making a lot of ATM withdrawals, you’ll want a local bank that has plenty of ATMs in the area. If you only plan to do online financial transactions, location is less important.
Consider what you’ll be using the account for. Will you be depositing money, paying bills online, writing checks, making transfers, or more?
2. Research and Choose the Right Bank
Now that you know what you’ll be using your free bank account for, you can look up different banks and see the kind of account options they offer.
You can research online to find out what banks have fees for checking accounts, and which ones don’t. Credit unions are often a great choice if you want to avoid fees. There are also online banks, such as Ally Bank. These banks are able to avoid fees by not having any physical locations, which keeps costs down.
Look for banks that offer free checking accounts with no minimum balance. Make sure it has the option to set up an account online as well. Unless you don’t mind going in to a physical bank location to get it set up.
3. Decide if it’s a Joint Account
Most people will be opening up the account alone, but if you plan to open a joint account, discuss it with the person who will be sharing the account with you so that you can have everything ready to go.
4. Get Your Materials Together
You will need some information before you can open your new free bank account, so make sure you have it ready to go.
You’ll need ID, like your passport or state-issued ID. You’ll also probably need proof of address, and you may need other information, as well. So, go to the website of the bank you’ve chosen to see their specific requirements.
5. Fill Out Application
On the bank’s website, you’ll find the application you need to fill out for your account. Once you have all your information together, filling out this application should be easy.
After it’s been submitted, you just need to wait for the bank to review your materials and approve the application. This usually means they are running a credit check and reviewing your past financial history.
When you’ve been approved, you will be sent your new account number and all the information you need. From there, you can set up direct deposit, online bill pay, and whatever else you need your online account to do.
Welcome to Online Banking!
Now that you understand how to open a bank account for free, take the time to explore all the convenient options your new financial institution offers. You’ll quickly see what a great idea it was to open a bank free account online.
With everything from online bill pay to free financial advice, many banks offer great perks that make life much simpler and help you save money.
Want to learn more? We’ve got lots of great, free information about all your banking needs. Read up on what you need to know about online banking to make managing your finances that much easier.
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