Opening A Bank Account

Opening A Bank Account

Opening an account with a credit union or bank is an important decision. Bank accounts are crucial to developing solid financial health—it's never too late (and rarely too early) to open one. Keep in mind, though, that there are key differences between types of accounts with different financial institutions. Before you sign on the dotted line, educate yourself on the top three questions to ask before opening a bank account. You'll be happy you did!

Questions to Ask Before Opening a Bank Account

1. What type of account do I need?
This is what you'll want to figure out first—do you need a checking account or a savings account? The two are very different! Checking accounts are for people who want to use the money in that account regularly. You'll have checks or a debit card to make payments simple, and there aren't tight restrictions on how often you can make withdrawals—it's all about easy, frequent access. You typically will not earn interest on money in a checking account. 

Savings accounts are designed for, well, saving. You'll be able to withdraw this money, but usually not as easily and as often as you would be able to with a checking account. Because you're trying to grow your wealth with a savings account, both banks and credit unions offer interest on these types of accounts. Interest rates vary, so look for one that suits you!

2. Is there a minimum balance? If so, what is it?
Depending on the financial institution you choose, some accounts will require a minimum balance. This means you'll incur fees if you do not keep a certain minimum amount of money in the account. Be sure to check whether this applies to the account you're looking into—it could save you some trouble in the future!

3. How can I access my money?
Your money is of no use to you if you can't access it. This question comes with a few others:
Is the account with a bank or credit union that is close to you? A longer drive will likely become an inconvenience.
Does the financial institution offer online or mobile banking? Many people use their computer or cell phone to check their account balance, transfer money, or even pay bills.
Are there ATMs? Are there ATM fees? When your bank or credit union is closed, you'll need to go to an ATM if you want to make deposits or withdrawals. You'll want to check that they offer machines for you to use that are easy for you to reach. While you're at it, check if there are ATM fees.

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You're prepared with some of the most important questions to ask before opening a bank account. Does that mean you're ready to take the next step? If you live in southwest Missouri, look into BluCurrent Credit Union for your financial institution! Our staff would be happy to help you open a checking or savings account. We have three locations in southwest Missouri: two in Springfield and one in Nixa. BluCurrent also offers convenient mobile and online banking! If you're interested in learning more about how our organization can benefit you, we would love for you to stop by one of our locations or visit our website. We look forward to meeting you!

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