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How to Set up Your First Bank Account

Updated on April 7, 2012

You just got your first job, Congratulations! I know you're probably already thinking of all the ways you are going to spend that first paycheck, but before you can even spend that check you are going to need to deposit it into a bank account first so you can use your money.

Chances are you don't have a bank account yet, you've probably never had enough money to need one. Most teenagers think that setting up a bank account is difficult although it is fairly easy. The first thing you need to do is decide on a bank. When deciding on a bank be sure to keep factors such as fees and minimum balances in mind. You ideally would like to find a checking account with zero fees and no minimum balance, or one with an extremely low minimum balance. You will qualify for a student account so these criteria should be extremely easy to find.

The second thing you need to do is determine if the account you chose requires you to have a joint account with your parents. This may be required at the bank you chose depending on your age. The age factor is different for every bank, although most banks allow minors over 16 to create their own bank account, which I strongly suggest you do. I believe that if you are earning your own money that you should have sole power over it, regardless of your age.

Now that you have chosen the bank you want to set up an account at the only thing left is to do it! Before heading of to the bank you will need to gather a few documents first. Be sure to bring your first check or cash to make your initial deposit. You will also need a picture ID, such as a state ID or drivers license and a secondary form of ID such as a passport, social security card, etc.

When you go to setup your account you will meet with a bank representative and be given all the proper paper work to fill out. This person will most likely also activate and order you a debit card and enable your online banking if you choose. Be sure to write down a list of questions you are curious about before going to set up your account and ask away if they are not answered in the paper work.

Good luck!


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