Opening Bank Accounts 

 What will I need? 

  • A form of identification: this could be a valid government-issued photo ID like a driver’s license or a US passport. If you are someone who does not drive, you can always head to the Department of Motor Vehicles office in your area to apply for a state ID card.  
  • State of Nebraska DMV: 301 Centennial Mall S, Lincoln, NE 
  • Lincoln DMV: 500 W O St, Lincoln, NE 
  • Omaha DMV: 7414 N 30th St, Omaha, NE 
  • Basic personal information: this includes your birthday, Social Security number, phone number, and email address.  
  • If under 18: you will need a parent or legal guardian to be a co-owner your account with you. You will need their information as well to open any account if under 18.  

 Do I want a checking account, savings account, or both? 

It really depends on what you plan to use them for. If you are planning to use your account specifically to write checks, pay bills, or make purchases with your debit card, then a checking account is right for you! If you want a safe place to keep your money while saving for an emergency fund or specific goals (vacation, new car, etc.), then a savings account is right for you. If you plan on all the above, go ahead and open both! 

 What are some key things to look for when opening a checking and/or savings account? 

Start by looking at the monthly service fee. A monthly service fee is how much money you need to have in your account each month to keep it opening and functional. Most banks require a minimum of $10.00 to keep your account going. When looking for just checking accounts, keep in mind the monthly fees as well as the low to no overdraft fees (if you spend more money than you have available in your checking account) and how close you are to an ATM. Keep in mind the monthly fee plus interest rate when looking for which savings account option is right for you.  

 How do I know which bank is best for me? 

Consider your options before choosing a bank. It might be easy to choose the bank your parents or legal guardians have accounts with. It might also be a good idea to choose a bank that is accessible to you (a branch located nearby, ATM accessible, etc.). You also have the option of doing online banking. Online banks tend to have lower fees and higher interest rates. Check out the link below for more information of picking a bank that is best for you! 

https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/banking/how-to-open-a-bank-account-what-you-need/ 

 If you are NOT a United States citizen: Follow the link for the financial guide for immigrants living in the U.S.   

Legal Aid of Nebraska

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