Checking Account

Can You Open a Checking Account Online – What You Need to Know

A checking account refers to a bank account that allows you to deposit money for your daily needs. The account allows you to access money 24/7. A checking account comes with a debit card to easily access your funds at an ATM or when shopping online. Today I will discuss checking account openings. But can you open a checking account online?

Well, we shall check the possibility of opening a checking account online. We all know the convenience that accompanies opening an account online with any financial company. You do not have to walk to a physical branch to open your account since you only need your smartphone, laptop, or computer to get things done. Again, you can save plenty of time that you could have wasted when opening an account at a physical branch.

Moreover, managing your account online helps you keep a close watch on spending your funds. You can easily detect any fraud if you set up transaction alerts. Online accounts allow you to view your transaction history and even receive e-statements for your past months. Moreover, you can easily send and receive funds online. By the way, online accounts have made check payments almost useless, and most of those who use checks do it for fun.

How does a checking account work?

A checking account works straightforwardly. You have to open an account to start using your account. Once you get one, you can deposit money in the account to start transacting. Checking accounts allow you to receive money from others. You can even set up a direct deposit from a government agency or your employer to receive funds.

You can withdraw money from a checking account at an ATM point. Checking accounts come with debit cards that allow you to withdraw your money at ATM points. The debit card also helps you to buy goods and services online and at physical locations. The card also allows you to send money to others at an ATM or online. Debit cards allow you to spend only what is in your account. Once finished, you have to top up your account once more.

Some banks allow you to get overdrafts for your checking account. An overdraft is like a loan that you get when you run short of funds when doing a transaction. You have to return it with some amount of interest.

It is essential to know that checking accounts also allow you to transfer money to other banks. You only need the routing and account number of the receiving bank account. However, when sending money to someone else within your bank, you only need to send money with a checking account number instantly.

Interestingly, some checking accounts allow you to save money when you maintain a particular balance. Checking accounts with an option to save usually attracts high Annual Percentage Yields compared to savings accounts.

Can you open a checking account online?

can you open a checking account online

You can open a checking account online as long as you have all the requirements. You need to visit the bank’s website with which you wish to open an account, and then navigate to the account opening section. You will see a section with a login tab; below you can see the “Register an Account” tab.

When opening a checking account online, you require the same documents as opening at a physical branch. These include;

  • Social Security Number.
  • Your identification document.
  • Email address.
  • Phone number
  • Physical address

The above details are the basic requirements as per the federal government guidelines. Your bank may require additional information to which you should comply. In most cases, banks check whether your names are in the ChexSystems. If your names are in the ChexSystems, it means that at one point, you misused your bank account by writing bouncing checks, closing an account with a negative balance, or doing some fraudulent activities with your account.

However, it is possible to open a checking account with no ChexSystems. Such accounts allow you to regain your reputation with banks.

 Can an under 18 open a checking account?

The federal government allows only citizens of at least 18 years of age to open bank accounts. If you are below those years, you cannot open a bank account independently. You have to open an account with your parent or guardian. Various banks allow you to open a bank account for your kids. They even go to the extent of giving out debit cards to the kids to spend on their shopping when in school.

The importance of opening an account for your kid is that it helps them learn how to manage money early. That way, they grow up as responsible people who know how to use their money appropriately.

How much do I need to open a checking account online?

Most banks do not charge you any fee when opening a checking account. However, most banks require you to deposit a certain amount of money in your checking account as soon as it becomes active. However, it is possible to have a free online checking account with no opening deposit with some banks. Such banks are helpful if you open an account to receive a salary from your employer or any other form of payment.

In most cases, banks that require a deposit when you open an account issue checking accounts for people in the ChexSystem. Such accounts are called second chance checking accounts and are meant to help your register good account usage.

Do credit unions have checking accounts?

Credit unions are member-owned financial institutions. Once you become a member, you usually get shares to run the institution. Some people think that credit unions are mainly for savings purposes. However, that is not the case. Credit unions allow one to open a checking account. Credit union checking accounts come with debit cards that you can use for your transactions, like checking accounts from banks.

Do I grow my credit scores when using a checking account?

Checking accounts do not allow you to grow credit scores when you use money in your account. However, if you get a loan through your account, you can quickly grow your credit scores.

The sure way to increase your credit scores is by getting a credit card. Most banks usually issue credit cards, and your card usage allows you to grow credit scores with big margins as long as you use the scores appropriately.

How do I get a debit card for my checking account?

Checking accounts do not automatically issue debit cards when you open an account. You, therefore, have to request a debit card when the need arises. Applying for a debit card is free, and you can quickly get an online bank account with an instant debit card from various online banks.

Instant debit cards are generally virtual cards. You get the card number, the card expiry date, and the CVV to use online as you wait for the tangible plastic card to arrive at your place via your physical address.

How are checking accounts different from savings accounts?

Checking and savings accounts are all types of bank accounts. However, they are a bit different from each other because of the way they operate. Checking accounts allow one to access money 24/7, while savings accounts allow you to withdraw money at limited times in a month.

Another difference is that savings accounts allow you to save money for future use while checking accounts help you to keep funds for your everyday expenditure. Some checking accounts allow you to save money and, in the process, attract massive interest in the saved amount.

Again, checking accounts come with debit cards that you can use for your day-to-day transactions, while only a few banks issue debit cards for savings accounts. If you get a debit card for a savings account, it restricts how much and how many times you can use the card within a month.

How do second chance checking accounts work?

As I mentioned earlier, a second chance checking account is a bank account that allows you to rectify past poor banking practices. Second chance banking accounts usually require you to deposit a certain amount of money when opening your bank account. However, it is possible to get a second chance checking account with no opening deposit.

When you open a second chance checking account, you usually get lots of restrictions on how you can use the account. Most second chance checking accounts do not allow you to write checks. Moreover, most second chance checking accounts do not issue debit cards. You have to survive with those restrictions until you advance to a standard account.

Bottom line

A checking account refers to a bank account that allows you to keep and use money 24/7. Ordinary checking accounts come with debit cards that you can use to access your funds at an ATM point. However, most second chance checking accounts do not come with a debit card. You can open a checking account with banks and credit unions.

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