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How to open a checking account online

Opening a checking account online is fast, easy, and safe. Online checking accounts are available with credit unions, banks, and other financial institutions. While you can open an account in-person, today’s technology makes it safe and easy for anyone interested in opening a checking account online.

At Credit Union of Southern California (CU SoCal), we make it easy to open a checking account online!
Call 866.287.6225 today to schedule a no-obligation consultation and learn about our mortgages, home equity lines of credit, auto loans, personal loans, checking and savings accounts, and other banking products. As a full-service financial institution, we look forward to helping you with all your banking needs.

Get Started on Your Checking Account Today!

What is a checking account?

A checking account is a type of financial account that lets people make deposits and withdrawals as needed. This includes using ATMs, depositing checks and cash, writing checks, enrolling your monthly bills in automatic bill pay to ensure on-time payments, transfering money between different accounts, and the ability to make deposit transactions such as receiving direct deposit of your income, tax refund, or pension payments.

Opening a checking account online

Here are the basic steps for opening a checking account online:
  1. Research different checking account types. Credit unions and traditional banks offer several types of checking accounts, such as classic checking and rewards checking.
  2. Comparison shop different banks and credit unions. Each financial institution will offer different interest rates, rewards, and other unique account requirements. Be sure to shop around and choose the location and account that works best for you.
  3. Gather necessary documents. Whether you open your checking account online or in-person, you’ll typically be required to provide your name, address, and social security number. You may also be asked to provide a driver’s license number or other government-issued identification.
  4. Apply for a checking account online. Opening an online account is easy and you can do it from the comfort of your home.
  5. Make an initial deposit. All financial institutions require an initial deposit to open an account. These deposits may range from five dollars to one hundred dollars.
  6. Get your debit card. You will be issued a debit card which will be sent to you in the mail at the address you provide. If you open your account with a bank or credit union in your neighborhood, they may be able to generate a debit card for you at a branch location.

Checking account FAQs

What can a checking account be used for?

Account holders can make deposits and withdrawals as needed. This included using ATMs, depositing checks and cash, writing checks, automatic bill pay, and other transactions to pay everyday expenses, as well as making other financial transactions.

Checking account vs. savings account: what's the difference?

A checking account can be thought of as “outgoing” funds and is traditionally used for receiving payments from others, writing checks, and making debit card withdrawals at ATMs. A savings account is for incoming funds that will be saved. Most people have both types of accounts. Savings accounts typically earn interest and the more money you keep in the account, the higher the interest you’ll earn.

How much should I keep in my checking account?

At the very least you should keep in your account the minimum balance required by the financial institution. Falling below the required balance could cost you a penalty fee. Your checking account should always have enough money in it to cover the amount of monthly withdrawals you make, so you don’t bounce any checks or get charged a penalty fee for insufficient funds.

Does opening a checking account affect your credit score?

When you apply for a checking account online the credit union, bank, or other financial institution may do a soft inquiry on your credit report, which will not affect your credit score. If you are concerned about your credit score, ask the financial institution whether or not they look at your credit as criteria for opening a checking account. For example, CU SoCal does not report opening or closing savings or checking to the credit reporting agencies (Experian, TransUnion and Equifax), which means that credit scores aren’t affected.

How much does it cost to open a checking account?

It is free to apply for a checking account online and open a checking account. However, all financial institutions have a minimum opening balance requirement, typically anywhere from five dollars to one hundred dollars.

Do checking accounts earn interest?

Some checking accounts, called “high-yield” checking accounts, do earn interest. Financial institutions that offer interest in a checking account typically have requirements that must be met for the account to qualify.
For example, account holders may need to maintain a specific minimum balance, perform a minimum number of withdrawal/debit transactions each month, use their debit card for a specific number of transactions, and receive direct deposit into the account.
Keeping track of these requirements can be burdensome or challenging to adhere to. Ask yourself if the requirements are worth the interest rate being offered and take an honest look at whether you’ll be able to meet the requirements.

How many checking accounts can I have?

There is no limit to the number of checking accounts a person may have. For example, you may have your own personal account, an account shared with your spouse, an account with your child, and an account shared with another family member or business partner.

Why savvy consumers choose CU SoCal

For over 60 years CU SoCal has been providing financial services, including mortgages, Home Equity Loans, HELOCs, car loans, personal loans, credit cards, and other banking products, to those who live, work, worship, or attend school in Orange County, Los Angeles County, Riverside County, and San Bernardino County.
Please give us a call today at 866.287.6225 today to schedule a no-obligation loan consultation with a CU SoCal Member Services specialist.

Get Started on Your Checking Account Today!

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Building Better Lives

Credit Union of Southern California (CU SoCal) is a leading financial institution empowering those who live, work, worship, or attend school in Orange County, Los Angeles County, Riverside County, and San Bernardino County to reach their goals and build strong financial futures. CU SoCal provides access to convenient money management services and offers competitive rates and flexible terms on auto loans, mortgages, and VISA credit cards—turning wishing and waiting into achieving and doing.


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