Before opening a new Account, you need to take care of a few things-
- Read the fine print carefully. There might be a monthly fees or minimum balance restriction.
- Check the fee schedule of the bank. Find out the wire transfer fees, ATM fees, etc.
- Some small banks might do a hard credit inquiry for even opening a CD if you do not have an account with them already. So you need to go through that application form thoroughly enough to make sure that you are not authorizing them for your hard credit inquiry, instead of blindly following the bank marketing guy.
- Some banks charge you a closure fees (eg, netbank), so before opening an account, find out their closure policy. A few banks might charge you an early closure fees, eg, if you close an account within six months.
- Make a note of each transaction you make and each check that you write. With some banks it might take a few days before your transaction shows up in the account. During that period, you might believe that you have more funds in the bank than there actually are (unless you have recorded the transaction when you made it.) For example,
- You had $1000 in your account on 1st August.
- You wrote a check of $500 on 2nd august to Mr A.
- You spend $300 on shopping on 3rd August.
- But your available balance in the bank still shows $700 instead of $200 on 3rd august.
Now if you forgot about the check that you had written and spend over $200, you will be charged an overdraft fee by your Bank.