Managing a Checking Account

Use these checking account tips to better understand how to manage a checking account.

Opening a checking account

Compare services at different banks before opening a checking account, and decide which account best meets your needs.

couple meeting with a customer service representative

To open a checking account:

  1. Visit the financial institution of your choice, and speak to a customer service agent about opening a checking account.
  2. Bring with you:
    • Two forms of identification, including one with a picture
    • Your Social Security Number
    • Money for your first deposit in the form of cash or a check
  3. Be prepared to fill out information on a signature card that will remain on file at the bank. The bank uses the card to verify the signature on checks that bear your name. Signature cards typically include:
    • Your name
    • Your current address and length of time at the address
    • Your previous address and length of time at that address
    • The type of account, such as single or joint
    • Your signature
  4. Once your account is approved, you can make your first deposit.