Required Documents to Open a Checking Account
Most Americans have a checking account, a form of direct deposit account that can receive your paycheck, process a government contribution and handle payments including invoices. Checking accounts are typically tied to an Automatic Teller Machine or ATM card, enabling you to access your money or make deposits outside of normal bank branch hours. Some checking accounts are also tied with savings accounts, allowing you to easily transfer money back and forth between the two.
If you desire to open a checking account, your bank will require that you supply certain documents. Get these ready before you head to your bank and you will be able to open a new checking account with ease.
1. Identification. Your banker will want proof of who you are before opening an account. Typically, this will include an I.D. with a photograph, such as a driver’s license or passport. Make sure that each I.D. is valid and reflects your current information.
2. Proof of residence. Your driver’s license may offer sufficient proof of where you live, but your bank may request that you bring in other proof such as a letter mailed to your current address. A utility bill sent to your home in your name should do; bring the original, not a copy.
3. Social Security Number. When you fill out an application for a checking account, you will be required to furnish your Social Security Number. To verify your number, your banker may require you to supply an original copy of your Social Security card, so bring that with you too.
4. Credit Reports. The last document that your banker may require is a copy of your credit report. The good news here is that the banker will obtain this copy directly, by querying TransUnion, Experian or Equifax for the same. To avoid a possible problem, you will want to ensure that your credit is clear before applying to open a checking account. Obtain free copies of your credit report from AnnualCreditReport.com and review same. Fix whatever problems are apparent and be prepared to explain to your bank unresolved problems if asked.
Check your bank’s website for a list of documents needed before heading to your bank to open an account. The documents we listed here are generally required, but your bank may have a slightly different list for you to follow. Follow these same instructions if you plan to open a checking account with your credit union or a savings and loan association.
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