Although many people think it is a daunting process to open a bank account for the first time, the truth is that if you have all of the required documentation on hand at the time of application, the process should go smoothly. However, another question that is often asked is, “Do you have to have money on hand to open a bank account?” In most cases, the answer to this is yes.


Feel free to read our post about setting up a checking account online without an opening deposit.

Opening Balances May Vary

The amount of money you will need to open a bank account will depend on the type of account that is being opened (is it a checking account, savings account or business account?) and the bank or credit union that you are attempting to open the account with. While some banks or credit unions may only require a small deposit of $25 to open an account, others can sometimes require amounts as large as $100 or more. As a result, it is recommended that you inquire beforehand. This will ensure that you have the funds available to compete for the process of opening your account.

Other Documents Needed

When opening a bank account, many people still think they will be able to walk into a bank and simply request that an account is opened for them. However, the process is not as simple as that anymore. Before any banking institution or credit union will permit you to open an account, you will need to provide between one and two forms of photo identification and a physical form of proof of address.
In most cases, acceptable forms of identification include a driver’s license, student ID, military ID, government ID or any other official form of identification that clearly shows your full names and a clear photo.


How Long will it Take to Complete the Process?

If you arrive at the bank or credit union branch with all of the required documentation and sufficient funds, your account should be able to be opened there and then. If not, an employee will advise you how long the process is going to take. In cases where you have insufficient documentation on hand, you will be required to provide this in person before your new account can be activated for use.

Not All Accounts are Created Equal

Before rushing off to open an account at just any bank or credit union, it’s essential that you perform some research. This will enable you to see which institutions charge the highest fees for using their products and whether there are any options that provide you with higher interest rates for banking with them or not.

When opening a new bank or credit union account, it is a good idea to select an option that has a physical branch close to where you live or work. This will enable you to address inquiries and complaints as efficiently as possible should they happen to arise at any time. Checking online reviews will also enable you to make the most informed choice when selecting a bank to work with.

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