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Bank accounts are the core of your financial stability and independence. Setting up a bank account can be an intimidating process with all of the red tape banks put in front of you, but its much simpler than they make it out to be.
Taking the time to open a bank account is the first step in gaining financial independence, and oftentimes, this is not a very time-consuming task.
Which Factors Affect The Time It Takes To Open A Bank Account
Not all banks are created equally, meaning the time it takes to open an account at different banks varies. There are a few specific factors that affect how long it will take to open an account.
- Your preparedness – You need to have numerous forms at the ready to open a bank account, so how easily you can access these forms plays a big role in dictating how long it will take to open the account. If you have all of your forms necessary ready to go, then it can be a very speedy process.
- Method of opening the account – The mode in which you open your account also dictates how long it will take to open. Typically, you can open an account over the phone, online, or in person. More details on these specific methods will be touched on later, but each one has a different timeframe associated with it.
- Experience and size of bank – In the end, it’s the bank opening the account for you, so how quickly they move will dictate how quickly your account will be opened. Banks with years of experience and large banks with a lot of resources tend to be able to open accounts faster than newer, smaller banks.
Largest Traditional Banks
Largest Online Banks
Bank Of America
How Long Does It Usually Take?
Depending on the method you prefer to open your account, the time it will take will vary.
- The traditional way to open an account is in person. It can take a while to open an account in person, with you needing to wait to schedule an appointment, fill out the application in the bank, and talk to an advisor.
After you’ve completed this, your account will likely be fully functional once you’ve left the bank. All in all, this is a multi-day process between scheduling the appointment and actually getting to the appointment, and then a few hours at the bank itself.
- Opening a bank account online or over the phone is a much more streamlined process. If you have all of your documents ready, it can take between 10 and 15 minutes to complete an application. While this is extremely fast, your account won’t be set up once you’re done.
The bank needs to process and accept your application, which typically takes 1-2 days. If your main focus is opening an account as fast as possible, then online or over the phone is your best option.
How To Streamline The Process?
If you want to minimize the time it takes to open up a bank account, follow these tips to streamline the process.
There are various documents that you need to have to be able to open a bank account. These include a government issues form of identification, a second form of ID, proof of address, and social security number.
You will also need a minimum opening deposit if the bank required this, so have it ready to be moved.
Opening a bank account online is by far the fastest way to do it. If you are comfortable with using technology to manage your finances and time is a factor, open your account online.
While the bank may take a few days to process your application, you will only need to spend about 15 minutes actually filling out the application.
Each bank is different, so knowing which banks around you are known for being slow or fast can help you choose the bank that can open your bank the quickest.
Talk to friends and family who have recently opened a bank account and ask about their experience with it and what their timeline looked like. Take this into consideration when choosing what bank to use.
How Long Until I Can Use The New Account?
The amount of time between submitting your application for the account and being able to use it varies based on the method you use to open the account.
If you decide to open the account in person, you can use the account once you walk out the door. The representative opening your account should have it done by the time your meeting is over, and this is one of the benefits of doing it in person.
If you look for an online bank, it could take a few days for the account to be accessed. Your application needs to be processed and reviewed, so you do not have instant access.
How Long Until I Can Get A Debit Card?
Using a debit card is one of the best benefits of a checking account, so being able to access the debit card quickly is important.
Similarly, with being able to use the new account, the time it takes to get and use a credit card varies. Most banks take seven to ten business days to ship a card, and once you get it, you simply need to access it. This is typical across accounts that are opened online.
Some banks allow you to receive a credit card when you open your account. Immediate access to a debit card can be desired for people who need to spend right away.
What to Do If You Can’t Open a Bank Account?
It can be very frustrating to have your application for a bank account be rejected. If this happens to you, there are a few steps you can take to clear things up.
- Understand why you were rejected – There are many reasons why your application can be rejected, so the first action you take is finding out why. This can be done easily by contacting a representative at the bank and asking why you were rejected. This could be a fairly simple reason that can be resolved easily or something more complex.
- Apply for a different bank – Once you’ve found out why you were rejected, it may be worth it to apply for an account at a different bank. Some banks have stricter credit requirements than others, so if this was the reason why you were rejected, you can be approved at other banks.
- Fix your credit and banking history – One of the most common reasons people are rejected is because of a poor credit and banking history. This can include a low credit rating or unpaid fees with previous accounts. If you clean up your history, your likelihood of being approved will be much higher.
Customer Service Number
Bank of America
Alliant Credit Union
Alliant Credit Union