photo of a check

Types of Checking Accounts

Once you have decided which bank you will open your checking account at, you will likely encounter a variety of options from the bank. Ideally, you want an account that will offer you free online access to your account without any hidden fees or requirement for minimum balances. Listed below are a few tips to help you determine what type of checking account will best suit your personal needs.

What is a joint checking account? A joint checking account simply means that there is more than one person’s name listed as the account’s owner. Here are a few instances why people choose a joint account: married couples who have merged finances, an adult who co-signs for a minor, a person with Power of Attorney for someone who is unable to act on their own behalf for reasons such as disability or military deployment.

Do you need a second chance at checking? Second chance checking accounts can be offered to people who had a problematic checking account in the past. If you had a prior checking account where bounced checks and overdraws were an issue, check with your local banks or credit unions to see if you qualify for a second chance checking account. If approved, you may be required to maintain a minimum available balance, pay a small monthly fee or provide proof of income.

Are you a college student? Opening a student checking account with your bank is a great way to take control of your finances while you attend college. Using a checking account will teach you discipline in maintaining a budget each month, plus you could graduate with significantly less debt than college students who rely on credit cards. And, of course, less debt could mean a better credit score, which can impact everything from employment to your ability to sign a lease.

What about High-Yield Checking Accounts? If you can maintain a minimum balance and commit to a number of debit card transactions each month (both of which are determined by your bank), you may want to opt for a high-yield checking account. The difference between a high-yield and standard checking account is that the high-yield offers a type of interest, called Annual Percentage Yield (APY), which is higher than the interest rate on a standard checking account for checking deposits. APY is also different than Annual Percentage Rate (APR) in that interest rates for APYs can allow you to earn more interest throughout the year so long as you meet your bank’s minimums.