March 1, 2021

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Nota del editor: Este artículo también está disponible en español.

Whether you are opening a bank account for the first time or considering the various options that may be available to you, having a relationship with a financial institution can be a step toward financial stability.

  • Perhaps you want to keep your money safe, have proof of payment, or monitor your money. These may be among the reasons why opening an account at a financial institution (bank or credit union) can help you reach your financial goals.
  • Finding the financial institution and account that meets your needs is important. To help evaluate your options, use a checklist or make a list of what is important to you—perhaps location, ATM network, account features, or costs.
  • Using direct deposit into a bank account for paychecks or unemployment benefits ensures that you receive money timely and securely. Because the money automatically goes into your account and will be available on a specific date, you don’t have to make a special trip to your employer to pick up the paycheck or go to the bank to deposit or cash the check.
  • Report a lost or stolen debit or ATM card to your financial institution as soon as you realize it’s missing. Your liability may range from $0 to $500, depending on how quickly you report the missing card or fraudulent activity.