Banking in the U.S.
Open a Bank Account
Carrying large amounts of cash is not safe. You have two options of making your money more reliable and safe.
Required Documents to Open a Bank Account
- Immigration Documents: I-20, I-94, passport and visa
- Proof of address from Indiana Tech’s Residence Life (on-campus), or rental agreement (off-campus)
- U.S. Dollars to meet minimum balance
A checking account is a service provided by banks which allows individuals and businesses to deposit money and withdraw funds from a federally protected account. A checking account holder can use personal checks in place of cash to pay debts. He or she can also use electronic debit cards or ATM cards to access individual accounts or make cash withdrawals.
These accounts are designed for saving money over a long period of time. Interest is paid on the balance of these accounts. You typically cannot write checks on these accounts. You can, however, open both accounts and transfer funds from your savings to your checking account. Additional fees or stipulations may apply and vary by bank.
ATM Cards/Debit Cards
These cards offer deposit and withdrawal service 24 hours a day through automated teller machines (ATM). ATMs are often located outside of banks. On campus, there is a STAR Financial ATM located in Andorfer Commons. Be aware that if you use an ATM that is not connected to your bank, you may be charged additional fees by your bank and the ATM’s bank. Also, you need to keep your personal identification number (PIN) associated with bankcards confidential so that only you have access to your account.
These convenient cards allow you to make purchases and to pay for them at a later date. There is typically an annual fee attached and you pay interest (usually 18%) on any unpaid balance. These charges can add up. Make sure you stay within your financial limits when making credit card purchases. Most bank credit cards require proof of financial responsibility such as good credit before issuing a credit card.
Most banks also issue traveler’s checks, which are the safest way of carrying large sums of money when traveling. They are accepted in the place of cash nearly everywhere.
Common Banks in Fort Wayne
Please do your own research to find what bank will be best for you based on location, availability and services provided.