How do I open a checking account

December 22, 2016


Having a checking account is easier than you think.

Paydays are, without a doubt, one of the most awaited days of the month. However, having to visit the bank to cash your check is not ideal.  Can you imagine being able to skip this step and deposit your check from your cell phone? Well, this is one of the many benefits you get by having a checking account. And rest assured that opening one is easier and faster than you think.


  1. Get information: Each bank or financial institution offers various types of checking accounts, from which depending on your needs you can reach information about:
  • the minimum amount of money required to open the account,
  • the monthly service fee you will have to pay,
  • how much money you must keep in the account every month,
  • the amount of transactions you should generate per cycle,
  • and whether you wish to join a rewards program, where you can win prizes according to the rules of obtaining and redeeming points of the institution.
  1. Prepare your documents: When you go to the bank to open your account, make sure to bring two valid identifications. These could be your driver’s license, passport, or Social Security card. You will also need a utility bill (water, electricity, or cell phone) to confirm your home address.
  2. Bring the money to be deposited: Depending on the selected account, bring the required minimum amount of money. Other than cash, you may also use your paycheck as an initial deposit. Listen closely to the information provided by the bank officer, and sign your documents the same way you will sign your checks. You may get your ATM debit card the same day, or they may send it to you by mail over the next few days. You will also get your checkbook.
  3. Be a good administrator: You will now be able to keep your money in a secure place, write out checks, pay your accounts online, and even receive your monthly paycheck through Direct Deposit. Remember to comply with the established rules for your account to avoid surcharges, and you will strengthen your credit history.

As you can see, opening a checking account can make your financial life easier.  What are you waiting for? Learn more about bank accounts and our options for electronic accounts (online accounts that give you the benefits of a checking account, but free you from papers, visiting branches, or getting statements by mail).

Visit our section Banking 101 for more information and tips for achieving your independence.