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Money Mondays: Setting up a Bank Account

By Guest Blogger Djuna Mitchell. Ms. Mitchell was featured on a recent Ticket to Work webinar. She is a former beneficiary, Community Work Incentive Coordinator (CWIC) and Work Incentive Planning and Assistance (WIPA) Project Director. Currently, she works for Social Security as a Social Insurance Specialist.  

Today we are introducing a new blog series, Money Monday: Your Path to Financial Independence. Created to teach and inspire, the blog series will provide valuable Money Mondaysinformation on managing your money helping you reach financial independence and a self-supporting future.

To begin your journey toward financial independence, you will want to open an account with a bank or credit union. It can make all the difference in the world!

If you have an account, you may avoid extra fees to cash your paychecks and you won’t have to worry about having all your cash stolen because you will know it’s safe. By keeping your money in a bank or credit union, you set yourself up for having credit when you need it, because creditors look at how you handle your bank accounts to see if you are a good candidate for a loan. It really is a good idea!

A bank or credit union:
 

  • Can help you save for the future;
     
  • Allows you to cash your checks without high fees;
     
  • Provides a safe place for you to keep your money; and
     
  • Gives you access to your money at ATM machines or stores without having to carry large amounts of cash.

When you choose a bank or credit union, it's important to keep some things in mind:

  • Choose a bank or credit union near your home or work;

  • Ask about the different accounts and services that may be available to you;

  • Ask about direct deposit, monthly fees, and what the minimum amount is that you can have in the account; and

  • Ask about what kind of telephone and internet banking services the bank or credit union offers.

If you're ready to open an account, make sure you have:

  • A valid driver’s license or state-issued identification card;

  • Proof of address, usually a copy of your lease or a recent utility bill; and

  • Money to open the account for the first time. (The amount will depend on the bank or credit union and possibly, on the type of account you want to open. The bank or credit union can give you specific information.)

Other banking and credit union resources you may find useful:

Getting “banked” is a great step on your journey toward financial independence! Read money saving tips at #MoneyMondays.Viewing Party

When you are ready to change your life through work, try Ticket to Work. Explore choosework.ssa.gov for more information about the program, email us at support@chooseworkttw.net, or call 1-866-968-7842 (V)/866-833-2967 (TTY/TDD).

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