Virtually everyone needs a checking account to perform common financial transactions and have a safe place to deposit their money. Unfortunately, many banks charge monthly fees for the privilege of having an account with them. This is not true of all financial institutions, however. Some banks still offer free checking accounts, so it's possible to avoid monthly maintenance fees if you do some comparison shopping. This article takes a look at some key tips to help you find a free checking account that fits your needs.
Regardless of whether a bank offers free checking or not, they may check your credit before approving any application for an account. Some banks me also check your banking history with a service called ChexSystems. For this reason, if you have bad credit or problems in your past financial behavior, it's best to deal with this situation before shopping around for a free checking account.
Contact the rating service and get your report. If you find any mistakes in the report, call the company and ask them to correct your record. If you have any outstanding loans or bills that have not been paid, call your creditors and see if they will accept a belated payment.
If you are not able to fix your bad credit, there is no need to panic. Simply look around for banks or credit unions that do not use credit checks or financial transaction checks when considering checking account applications. You may have to do some digging to find a bank or credit union that does not run credit checks and also offers free checking, but the time spent searching for on that does is more than worth it.
Even if a bank offers an account without a monthly maintenance fee and calls the account "free checking", you might still be hit with a variety of fees that will leave you lighter in the pocketbook. Always check the fees associated with any free checking account in advance.
For example, some banks will require you to keep a certain amount of money in the account. If the account goes under this amount, you will then be charged a fee because you did not maintain the minimum balance. Unless you are confident that you will always have more than the minimum balance in your account, it's a good idea to look for a free checking account that does not require a minimum balance.
Also, determine if the bank is going to charge you for things such as issuing you an ATM card, sending you paper checks, or sending you monthly statements. If you plan to pay your bills through the bank, find out if they offer free bill pay.
Finding a free checking account that is truly free takes some time and effort, but is definitely worth it on the long run. For more information, contact a company like Unison Bank.