First things first: Who can open a bank account online?
As long as you have proof of identity and some credit history, you should be able to open an account. If you have had some bad checks or have limited or negative credit history, there is a possibility that you will have to go to the bank to set up your account in person. Banks must be able to check your credit online when you complete an application, so a limited history might not provide enough information to get you approved.
If you are concerned about bad credit, there are “second chance” bank accounts in all 50 states, some available online. However, they may require a balance or charge fees. Before you start, it may not hurt to check your credit score with a service like CreditWise. It’s free and could be a good habit to adopt as it alerts you to changes in your score and even potential threats to your identity.
Can you open a bank account online for free?
There are free online bank accounts, both checking and savings, that do not require a deposit. Some banks will require you to put a little money in your account when you create it. This is called minimum opening deposit and it may vary depending on the type of account you choose. To put that first deposit into your account, you can use a blank check, transfer money from another account, or use a credit or debit card.
What does it take to open a bank account online?
Once you have decided which bank you want to use, it is time to complete your application online. If you are under 18, you may need a guardian to co-sign the account. The application process will vary from bank to bank, but it helps to have the following things on hand:
- Your driver’s license, passport, or other government-issued identification card
- Social Security Number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)
- A blank check, debit card, or credit card to make that first deposit
And generally you will need an email address, a postal address, and a phone number. Once you have that ready, here’s how to open a bank account online:
Go to the bank’s website . Stay safe! Whenever you enter personal information online, be extremely careful. Always look for a lock symbol (or https: //) next to the URL to know that your connection is secure before entering your information. 3 Look for the link to ‘open an account’. (Scroll down the home page to the sitemap if you’re having trouble finding the link.)
Choose the type of account you want . Most banks allow you to compare different types of accounts to help you decide. Do you want an individual account or do you want to open a joint account online? Do you want things like overdraft protection and the ability to earn interest? From checking and savings accounts to CDs and IRAs, there are many types of accounts you can open online.
Fill out an application . You will then enter all your personal information. You can also set your username and password and create security questions to help protect your account.
Agree to let the bank collect certain information . Sometimes submitting your application will automatically start the credit check process, but some banks may ask you to review disclosures and privacy policies first. In some cases, you will need to answer a few legal questions and then check a box that allows the bank to collect information about you and your credit.
The approval process . Some banks will tell you if they approve it right away, while others may take a little longer. You can always log in later to check the status of your application or call the bank if you have any questions. If it is not approved, you may need to enter the branch to finish the process.
Make your first deposit . Once it is approved, you will want to put some money in your new account. You can do this from another account online or by phone. If this is your first account, you may need to complete this step in person with cash or a check.
With your account set up, you are ready to start banking online! Depending on the account and its features, you can write checks, pay bills with your online bank account, set up direct deposits, and more right out of the box. And remember: always keep your username and password in a safe place where no one can find it.