4 things to consider when opening a checking account

What is a checking account?

Is it time to open a new bank account? Maybe you’ve just started a summer job that requires direct deposit for paychecks, or you’re off to college in a new city so you're looking for a bank closer to campus – a checking account is a great way to get started!

Checking accounts are for everyday transactions, like groceries, bills or other purchases. You may receive a debit card upon opening the account, but you can also access funds with checks or digital banking apps. To find the right account for you, consider the items below.

Evaluate the fees

  • Is it really “free”? Opening the account may be, but there may be fees for maintenance service, ATM access, monthly paper statements, transfers between accounts, or check writing. Review all the fine print before selecting an account.

Identify the minimum requirements

  • Some accounts require a minimum opening deposit, so you'll want to have cash or a check available to start the account. Always keep an eye on your balance if there are minimum requirements so you can avoid monthly service or overdraft fees. Overdraft fees occur when your account reaches $0.00 or below. Student accounts may waive some or all these conditions.

Locate the nearest banking center and ATM

  • ATM fees can sneak up on you. Some banks partner with ATM networks so you can make withdrawals or deposits without fees.
  • Digital banking is great for 24/7 access to your accounts, but an in-person conversation may come in handy here and there. If that's important to you, find a bank with locations close to your home or office.

Let it grow

  • Checking accounts are liquid, so you can make transfers, deposits and withdrawals any time, but building up your funds may be a goal for you, too. To give your balance an extra boost, you can search for an interest-bearing checking account or one that gives you cash back for certain transactions.

These are just a few of the topics to consider before choosing a bank. Get started with our First Free Checking Account or chat with any of our banking advisors if you have questions. We’re here to help you on the journey to financial wellness!

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