How to Set Up Your First Checking Account

by Kelly

Setting up a checking account couldn’t be easier, which is great news for anyone that is thinking about opening up their first bank account. Before you open an account, you are going to have to decide which financial institution to put your money into. Every bank is unique in that they are going to have different fees associated with their various accounts. They may also have different overdraft fees, which is something you are going to want to really understand before opening up an account.

Understanding Overdraft Fees

Overdraft fees result when swipe your card for a transaction that is higher than the amount that is currently present in your bank account. If you make this mistake, you may be charged quite a bit of money for every single pending transaction. Some banks are willing to drop overdraft fees on the first occasion, so you might want to consider banking with an institution that has one of these policies.

Credit Union Vs Bank

While you can always open up an account with a bank, you might want to consider opening a checking account with a credit union. Credit unions truly are superior to banks and are perfect for someone that is new to banking. The main objective for banks is to generate revenue, which means they are going to do everything they can to nickel and dime their customers.

Unfortunately, this is the case for just about every bank that is in existence. Credit unions are not as predatory and tend to have lower fees. They also typically have much better customer service and fraud protection, which may be a big deal if you lose your debit card.

Debit Cards

When you open a new account with a bank or credit union, you should also get a debit card. A debit card is a card that is connected to your checking account, which allows you to make transactions. Every time you swipe your card to purchase something, the card will draw money from your account. When you open a new account, your banker will go over all the details that are associated with your debit card.

Make sure you ask questions about the account and familiarize yourself with the process before you make any transactions. You should also be aware that opening up a bank account comes with some inherent risks, which could negatively affect your finances if you’re not careful.

How to Prevent Fraud

Fraud is extremely prevalent these days, which means someone may be able to get a hold of your card and withdraw money from your account. There are sneaky ways that people may attempt to get your bank account information, so make sure you are extremely careful about where you swipe your card.

For example, it may be a good idea to pay for your gas with cash. Criminals have figured out how to electronically steal debit card information directly from gas pumps, which they can then use to access your account. If something like this happens to you, you will be very thankful if you have decided to open up an account with a credit union.