Building a Banking Relationship

What to know about opening your first bank account

Opening your first account can be done in person or online

Posted on Dec 02, 2021

Thinking of opening your first bank account? Here’s what you need to know.

If you don’t have a bank account, you are not alone. 7.1 million U.S. households don’t have a banking relationship. Here are five core reasons a bank account is a smart money move:

  1. Your money is safe in an FDIC-insured institution: Keeping large amounts of cash in your home, vehicle, or on your person puts you at risk of theft, fire, flood, loss, and other damages or disasters. An FDIC-insured bank automatically offers some protections for your money.
  2. You can avoid check cashing fees and access your money quickly: Accessing your money without a bank account can be costly and take time. With a bank account, you can set up direct-deposit, which gives you quick access to your paycheck and other funds. This can help you save money by avoiding check-cashing fees or payday loan services.
  3. Easily pay bills, family members, and shop online: With a bank account, you can pay your utilities, cell phone, and even rent through bank transfers or bill pay services. You can also take advantage of person-to-person payments and apps to send money to people you trust. If you receive a debit card as part of your checking account, you can use it in place of cash to make purchases at stores and online. With a debit card, money is automatically deducted from your account when the transaction is complete and you have proof of purchase.
  4. Keep an eye on your money. Use your monthly statement and your bank’s mobile app or online banking tools to keep track of your money. These services are often available 24/7 and anywhere you have a secure internet connection. Use these tools to review your spending and check your balance. You can also set alerts and notifications to keep you informed.
  5. A banking relationship can help with future financial needs. Most people start with a checking and savings account to manage their day-to-day financial needs and long-term goals. But once you have an established banking relationship, you can consider other products and services as well. Your bank can help you understand and apply for credit cards, personal loans, auto loans, home mortgages, and more.

Where should you start?

There are many resources available to help you start your banking relationship.

  1. The FDIC Get Banked webpage in English or Spanish provides information and resources to people looking to open their first bank account..
  2. The FDIC’s BankFind tool helps you find an FDIC-insured bank in your area.
  3. This checklist (or lista de verificación) has information on the best type of account for your individual needs.

Many FDIC-insured banks have options to open an account online. You can also schedule an appointment to open an account in-person at your local bank office. Banks offer many types of accounts and programs, so there is likely one that can meet your specific needs.

Bank at NWSB Bank

When you choose a community bank for your checking and savingsmortgage or loan, or for your local business, you are automatically doing something good for our shared community. And you’ll enjoy great customer service, competitive products, and the convenient locations you need.

We’re connected and devoted to the communities we serve because we’re part of them too. We’re committed to you.

Open Your Account

This article was adapted from information provided by the FDIC. For more information about opening your first account or finding a bank, visit the Get Banked webpage in English or Spanish.