1. Open a Bank account

Your Financial History

Your financial history doesn’t need to be impeccable to open a bank account, but it may play into the bank’s decision to approve or deny your application. Banks often use ChexSystem, a targeted consumer reporting agency that tracks checking and savings accounts, to determine how much risk a potential customer might pose to the institution where they’re applying for an account. ChexSystem is the banking equivalent of the credit reporting bureaus. 

Many banks will also check your credit to see if you’ve had problems repaying loans in the past. These credit checks are usually “soft” pulls that do not damage your credit—but it’s best to ask, if you’re concerned. You don’t necessarily need good credit to get a bank account, but having bad credit can sometimes lead to denials.

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