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Opening your first bank accounts

Considerations for setting up your first bank accounts.

Opening a new account – much like going off to college – is a rite of passage for many students. The account you choose can help you ease into the habit of managing your own money and making good financial decisions while in school. Here’s a guide on how to open your first checking or savings account:

Figure out what you need

When it comes to determining what accounts will work for you, review your needs. Are you looking for an easy way to access cash? Do you need a way to set money aside for longer-term savings goals? Also, consider the proximity and availability of your bank’s ATMs and branches, in addition to other personal preferences that may be important to you like online banking and overdraft protection.

The type of account you require will be based on your personal and financial needs and goals, so it’s important to know these before choosing your accounts.

Consider your options

Once you’ve identified your needs, evaluate your options:

  • Checking account: A checking account can be opened individually or jointly, and you’ll need your basic information, Social Security number, driver’s license, and a minimum opening deposit amount. The account can usually be linked to a debit card – giving you quick access to cash – and can be managed online, as well as at ATMs. Wells Fargo also has a unique service for cardholders called Card Design Studio® service, where you can insert your favorite image to appear on your Wells Fargo Debit Card.
  • Savings account: Similar to checking, you’ll need to choose between an individual or joint savings account, and be prepared with the same basic information and an opening deposit amount. It is never too soon to start saving for your future financial goals. With an account like Wells Fargo Way2Save Savings, you have the opportunity to save automatically by linking to your checking account.

Actively monitor your accounts

Once you’ve set up your accounts, review your options for monitoring and managing them. One way to keep tabs on the status of your accounts is with alerts sent right to your email or wireless device. By signing up for these notifications, you can be notified quickly when a transaction takes place, allowing you to help monitor your account activity wherever, whenever.

There are a variety of Wells Fargo products that can assist you in managing your accounts. Wells Fargo Online® gives you 24-7 access to your accounts with activity details as well as various alerts you can choose from. And with Wells Fargo Mobile®, you can check your accounts on the run – choose from the mobile website or apps to help get your account.

Opening your first bank account is just one milestone in your financial future. Once you get started with opening an account, you’re one step closer to building a solid foundation for years to come.

Learn more about setting up and managing your budget in college.