Do you remember your first pay check? You definitely would’ve been excited and thrilled to receive that cheque, we’re sure of that. And if you’re about to receive your first pay check, you will need to open a bank account.
You will need to deposit your pay check in your new bank account, so that you can avoid using your money for unnecessary things.
But for this purpose, you firstly need to open a bank account. You cannot just open one in any bank that’s in your vicinity, because that can land you in trouble.
We’re sure you’ve heard about the PPI scandal in UK? Even today people are applying for a free PPI check to get their money back. Fortunately, there are some trustworthy associations, which direct people through the correct process so that they acquire the deserving compensation. Mentioned below are some important questions which you must ask yourself and find an answer to:
What are my possible options?
Most banks share a common purpose of earning profits. But, the focus of every bank in generating profits is through different mediums. For example, a regional bank would be interested in gaining profits through higher customer base. On the other hand, an international bank will focus on higher loans or credit purchase for its profits.
If you are currently working, then look for a bank that offers you good savings account and see to it that the services provided by them is beneficial to you and within your budget.
What are different the types of accounts?
There are different types of accounts which you can choose from. But, it is important to have an in-depth knowledge about other accounts as well, so that you know which one is suitable for your nature of income.
There are some accounts wherein you have to maintain a balance of specific amount. Then there are accounts that charge a specific amount for their services which is directly deducted from your balance.
If you’re confused as to which account is the best for you because of the number of options available to you, then the best way is to compare the interest rate of each one of them that you have short-listed. Also, consider the maximum limit of cash that you can pull from the ATM machine.
Which one is a feasible option?
Most people prefer choosing a bank which resides in the vicinity of either their home or office. There are some people who prefer going for the bank from which they receive their monthly pay check.
While selecting a bank, you must check their working hours so that you can make a quick visit and do not have to waste an entire day for it. There are some banks that have their branches in various cities and also different parts of the world.
Is a bank safe?
Safety of your money should be a prominent concern because you are likely to deposit all your savings, emergency fund and probably retirement funds as well in the bank. You definitely do not want to risk them all at once by keeping them at an unsecured spot.
So, enquire about what will happen in emergency situations and whether you get protection against your lost money. Get answers for all these questions so that in case of crisis you know whom to contact and when.
Does your past financial history impact your future?
There are some financial service providers who carry-out a background check before opening a customer’s account. They check whether you have any unsettled bills or leftover payments. They also check if you have a history of bounced cheques.
A person who already has an account can be traced through their credit score, but this is not possible if an individual is opening an account for the very first time. Therefore, they check your personal payment history of rent, bills, etc. If you have some pending bills make sure that you pay them off at least before applying for opening an account.
What impact would it cost if a cheque bounces?
Obviously, bouncing of a cheque is not a good sign because it somehow indicates that you are irresponsible and cannot manage your finances properly. Not to mention, you are liable to pay additional charges if a cheque bounces.
Nowadays, there are several online and electronic transfer options which help you transfer money in fraction of seconds. This means that people immediately get to know their current balance and the chance of a cheque getting bounced decreases.
Check the black & white documents
You may find it difficult to read those lengthy financial documents offered to you by your banks. But, it is necessary to read them carefully so that you do not skip any important clause which you probably should be aware about. You may find it boring to read, but you must do so and in case if you disagree or have any doubts regarding any of their terms or conditions it is better to clarify it right at the start. This will save you from misunderstandings and ensure that you are well-acquainted about what is mentioned in them.
You can always ask your peers and family members to share their views about the policy norms. You know whether they are all agreeable and also if there should be something specifically mentioned in the document or not.
The common details that should be mentioned are-
o Detailed description of account and ATM fees
o Necessary details regarding debit card fees and usage
o How to receive monthly statement (online/offline)
o Details on how to obtain new cheque book and process of cancelled cheque
o Online banking process and its fees, etc.
Apart from all these, you must also check whether the bank staff are reliable and whether they offer good services. If their authorities are unresponsive in your hour of need, then there is no point having an account with such a financial institution.