6 Things to Look for in Your First Bank Account

Having a bank account is viewed as a step toward adulthood. If you’ve never opened an account before, you may wonder what to look for. Here are six things to consider as you look to open your first account.

Fees

Whether it’s a savings account or a checking account that you’re looking to open, monthly fees can nickel and dime you to death. They can also cut down on the money that you have available. An account with no fees is preferable. If a local bank doesn’t offer this, it might be a good idea to check for an online option that does.

Minimum Deposit

Some banks will require a minimum deposit to open an account. If you’re just starting out in life, this could wind up being a nonstarter. Additionally, some banks will have fees for accounts that do not maintain a minimum account balance. There are options that don’t, and they might fit your goals better.

Overdraft Protection

This is important if you’re looking into getting a checking account and a savings account. Your savings account can offer overdraft protection. This keeps you from paying fees if you forget how much you have available for writing checks or using a debit card and go over the amount in your account. You should try to avoid overdrafts, but if they do happen, you’ll be covered.

Insurance

You want to have FDIC insurance on the money in your bank. This protects your deposits in case the bank goes out of business because of bad management. Your bank may lose all of its deposits, but you’ll get your money back thanks to the federal government as long as the bank was insured by the FDIC.

Interest Rates

While this is probably not going to be your main concern, interest rates are an important consideration. You’ll not likely beat inflation though putting your money in a normal bank account, but more interest is usually better than less. As long as there are no fees that will take away from the interest payments, you’ll want to get the most out of the money you loan to the bank, which is exactly what you’re doing when you open a savings account.

Mobile Access

Most banks today offer mobile access. This feature will allow you to check on your account at any time of day or night. Just make sure that the mobile app or website is a secure site so that your information is kept secure.

These are just six of the major concerns you might want to take into consideration when opening a bank account. Fees and interest rates are probably going to be the main concern for most people. However, it’s probably the FDIC security that you’ll want to find out first. Regardless, a bank account is a necessary step to opening up many financial options in the future.

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