Checking accounts tend to be fairly easy to establish. You’ll need to prove who you are and where you live. You can do this by presenting the bank representative with a copy of your driver’s license and Social Security card, as well as proof of your current address.
A driver’s license will suffice to prove your address, but the bank may also accept a current electricity bill. Every bank will check your banking record, and many will check your credit report when you open a checking account, according to the University of Illinois. After these checks, the banks will decide whether you may open an account.
Maintaining a Personal Account
Make sure you have enough income each month to maintain your bank’s minimum balance requirements, as well as to account for any fees. Depending on your banking and credit card history, you may be eligible for a debit card, which would allow you to access funds in your checking account immediately without having to write a check. Savings accounts function similarly, though you won’t be able to write checks to get money from those accounts, and leaving money in savings accounts can, over time, earn interest.
Choosing a Business Bank
If you are looking to open a business, the types of checking accounts available to you are different than those for people who only want to open a personal account. With those options, however, come more responsibility on your part. The Business Knowledge Source recommends choosing a bank with a strong reputation. A bank’s reputation extends to your business’s reputation and can therefore help or hinder your business. After you select a bank, you’ll need to decide what sort of business account you’ll need.
Choosing a Business Account
To identify the type of account you need, the Business Knowledge Source recommends assessing what kind of business you have and its needs, including how many checks you’ll be writing, how much money you intend to leave in the account and how many deposits you’ll be making each month. After comparing your needs to the offerings from competing banks, you’ll need to collect all the documents necessary for opening a business account. These include a copy of your taxpayer identification number and your business name certificate. You’ll also need proof of your name, credit and address. A driver’s license, business license or other official document will usually suffice. You’ll need this information for everyone who will be using the account.
Accounts for Credit Cards or Loans
The type of credit card for which you are eligible depends largely on your credit score and any outstanding debts you might have. As with other accounts, the bank will need proof of your identity and address. One primary difference between loans or credit accounts and checking and savings account is the amount of paperwork and personal information required. For a loan or a credit card, a bank might ask to know your employer, any outstanding debt, as well as how much money you make in a year. The bank will also need to check your credit score, so you’ll need to be prepared to consent to the check.