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What are checking and savings accounts?

A checking account allows you to write and deposit checks or use debit or ATM cards instead of paying with cash. It is meant to be the place to manage bill payments. A savings account is meant to be the place to put money away for long periods of time. A savings account pays interest on the money in your account. The higher the interest rate, the more money your account makes. Most savings accounts have limits on withdrawals, usually three to six a month.

What is interest?

Most savings accounts pay a small amount of interest on the money in your account. That means your money is making money while it is in the account. The more interest your account pays, the more money it produces. Remember that interest earned will have to be reported as income and is subject to federal income taxes.

How much money do I need to open an account?

You usually can open a checking or savings account with a deposit of $25 to $100. Ask how much is required to open an account and how much is required to avoid fees.

What identification do I need?

In most places, two types of identification are required. A Social Security number is always accepted, but many banks and credit unions do not require one if you are not a U.S. citizen. Sometimes one form of ID and a bill with your name and address are enough to open an account. Call first to find out the bank’s or credit union’s requirements.

Consular identification:

Consular IDs, such as the matricula consular, can be used to open accounts. Mexican and other consulates in the United States offer them. Visit your country’s consulate for more information.

Other types of identification:

Driver license. Passport. Birth certificate. A bill with name and address.

Is my money safe?

Even if something happens to your bank, the U.S. government guarantees your money up to $250,000 as long as the bank is FDIC-insured or the credit union is NCUA-insured. Look for the official FDIC or NCUA sign when opening an account.

What’s the difference between a bank and credit union?

Credit unions are nonprofits that tend to be smaller than banks and serve people who are members of a particular group. For example, there are credit unions for people who work in government, who teach in public schools, or who live in the same city or neighborhood. Banks can be either small or large, and they are governed by a board of direc tors chosen by the stockholders. They are for-profit business corporations.

 

Source: Bank On Dallas