Why Do You Need an Emergency Fund?
- Job loss or unemployment
- Medical or dental bills
- Home repairs
You can plan your day using an online calendar or task manager. You can communicate with friends and family via social media. And you could be managing your money online, too. When you open an online checking account, there is no “open” and “closed” sign, and you never have to wait in line to speak with a teller. You can check your balance, deposit a check, transfer funds or authorize a bill payment from almost anywhere using your smart device of choice.
While banks and credit unions may offer online banking, online banks could offer additional incentives, like higher interest rates or rewards.
You can follow these five steps to compare your checking options, find an account that fits your needs and learn how to open a checking account online:
The first step can be the most time-consuming, but it’s time well-spent. Promise. Getting acquainted with the checking account features out there before opening an online checking account can help ensure you’ll be happy with the account once you’re up and running. Not sure what to look for? Here are several features you may want to keep top-of-mind:
Once you’ve decided where you’d like to open an online checking account, you’ll likely need to start by creating an online profile. This isn’t too different from creating any other online account. To help improve your account’s security when opening an online checking account, try to choose a long password that has a mix of letters, numbers and symbols; that you don’t use for other accounts; and that doesn’t rely on personal information such as your birth date. If you already have a relationship with the financial institution through a credit card or loan, you may be able to use your same login information when you open an online checking account.
Most online banks have a simple application that you’ll need to complete to open an online checking account. You’ll likely need to provide personal and contact information such as:
If you haven’t already, you might need to choose the checking account type if the financial institution has several options. You may also have to indicate whether this is your account, a joint account, a trust or a Uniform Gifts to Minors Act (UGMA) account. When an account isn’t solely your own, you may have to provide the personal and contact information for the joint account holder, trustees or custodian.
Once you’ve entered all of your information (almost there!), you’ll have to decide how to fund your account, which is an important step when learning how to open an online checking account. If there is a minimum deposit requirement, you’ll need to deposit at least enough money to fulfill the requirement. Generally, it’s easy to fund your new account by transferring money directly from another bank. Alternatively, you can mail a check when you’re opening an online checking account.
Once you know how to open a checking account online, you’ll be a few days away from being completely set up. If you order a debit card or checks, they should arrive in the mail shortly. You’ll also be able to create your personal identification number (PIN) so you can use your new debit card. In the meantime, you may be able to use your online account to transfer funds and pay bills online.
Rewards, lack of fees and access to a network of no-fee ATMs are all benefits that could come with your online checking account. Although there may be a few steps required to open an online checking account, working out all of the details doesn’t take too long. And once you’re done, you’ll be all set for easy, convenient, on-the-go banking.
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