Four myths about opening a bank account

You may be holding onto some old ideas about what banking is and isn’t.

Fear is a bad advisor.

Fear is a bad advisor.


We know it’s been a while since some of you have opened up a bank account. Maybe you’ve only done it once or twice in your lifetime.

Just like anything you do infrequently, the thought of opening up a new bank account might make you feel a bit anxious.

We’ve written down four myths you may have and then unpack them.

Myth #1: I have to visit a bank in person to open a checking, savings or CD account.

Truth: You can open up an account from your living room couch.

If visiting a bank branch sounds like the last thing you’d ever want to do, good news: hundreds of banks offer online account opening. So you can open your account in between ordering take-out and shopping for shoes.

For banks that don’t yet offer online account opening, many let you open up an account over the phone.

Myth #2: It takes eons to open up a bank account.

Truth: It can take as little as 15 minutes.

You can open a bank account online in about 15 minutes. Some banks advertise times as low as 5 minutes.

Considering the amount of time the average person spends on the internet browsing different ways to cook noodles, that’s a tiny chunk of your day.

Opening an account in person can take longer, more like 20 minutes, which is a lot shorter than eons.

Myth #3: I need to ready a ton of paperwork prior to opening a bank account.

Truth: In most cases, it’s like getting your driver’s license. You’ll need a government-issued ID, a social security number, and your current/previous address(es).

You do not need every single document that proves your existence.

Banks do have to abide by regulations to make sure you are exactly who you say you are. (This is good for everyone.) This can usually be accomplished with a government ID and a social security number, and knowledge about your previous addresses.

Online, you’ll usually have to answer a few more questions to prove you are who you say you are.

If you plan to walk into a bank, call the bank in advance to confirm what’s needed.

Myth #4: I have to transfer everything over from my old bank to open an account with a new bank.

Truth: You can have multiple bank accounts.

You don’t need to close your old bank accounts to open up a new account with a new bank. Many people use 2 or 3 or more banks for different purposes: one for checking, one for savings, one for a CD. One for a loan. One for its special interest rate offer. Mighty helps you do all of this while asking yourself: is some of my money supporting places and causes I believe in? Other people are asking this of themselves, and if you want to, too, start browsing banks.

If you have more questions, considering giving a bank a call and talking to someone. When you call a community-focused bank, you’ll find that the experience of

Read more from Mighty

BlogTeam Mighty