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September 1, 2023

Banking Basics 101: How to Open Your First Checking Account 

Managing your finances effectively is a crucial life skill, and one of the first steps toward achieving financial independence is opening your first checking account. A checking account serves as the foundation for your everyday banking needs, enabling you to deposit and withdraw money, pay bills, and manage your everyday expenses. If you’re looking to start your financial journey with a reliable institution like Citizens First Bank, you’re in the right place. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the process of opening your first checking account. 

Gather Required Documents 

To open a checking account at Citizens First Bank, you’ll need to provide certain documents. Typically, these include: 

  1. A Form of Identification: A government-issued photo ID such as a driver’s license or passport. 
  1. Your Social Security Number (SSN): This is required for account verification purposes. 
  1. Proof of Address: A utility bill or rental agreement that displays your current address. 
  1. Initial Deposit: Some banks require an initial deposit to open a checking account. Check our requirements for an exact number for deposit. 

Choose the Right Checking Account 

At Citizens First Bank, we offer different types of checking accounts, each with varying features and benefits. We encourage you to choose the one that best fits your financial needs. Our checking accounts include: 

Traditional Checking 

Enjoy a checking account with no minimum balance requirement and no monthly maintenance fees. No limitations. 

Premium Checking 

Make your money work a little harder for you and earn interest with this checking account. Interest is not your only benefit; you’ll also have non-Citizens First Bank ATM fees reimbursed up to $10.00 per statement cycle. Minimum balance requirements apply. 

Platinum Checking 

Earn the highest interest rate of our checking accounts in addition to reimbursements up to $25.00 in non-Citizens First Bank ATM fees charged during each statement cycle. You’ll also receive free cashier’s checks and money orders along with 2 orders of personal checks per year. Minimum balance requirements apply. 

Money Market 

Want a great investment vehicle that comes with peace of mind? You can earn higher tiered-interest rates while maintaining access to your money. It is as easy as writing a check, visiting an ATM, or accessing online or mobile banking. Enjoy monthly mailed statements with check imaging. 

Visit a Branch or Apply Online 

Depending on your preference, you can either visit one of the six Citizens First Bank branches in person or apply online through our website. If you opt for an in-person visit, schedule an appointment if necessary. If you’re applying online, make sure to fill out the application accurately and provide all the required information. 

Complete the Application Process and Review Account Terms and Fees 

Whether you’re applying in person or online, you’ll need to complete the application process. This involves providing your personal information, selecting the type of checking account you want, and submitting the necessary documents. Double-check all the information to ensure accuracy.  

Before finalizing the account opening, carefully review the terms and conditions of the checking account. Take note of any associated fees, minimum balance requirements, overdraft policies, and other account-related details. Understanding these terms will help you manage your account effectively. 

Fund Your Account and Receive Account Information 

If an initial deposit is required, fund your new checking account. This can often be done through a variety of methods, such as transferring funds from another bank account or depositing cash or a check. 

Once your application is approved and your account is funded, you’ll receive your account information. This might include your account number, routing number, and details for online and mobile banking access. 

Congratulations! You’ve successfully opened your first checking account with Citizens First Bank. This is a significant step toward organizing your finances and gaining more control over your money. 

Remember, maintaining a checking account responsibly involves regular monitoring of your transactions, keeping track of your balance, and adhering to the bank’s policies. As you become more comfortable with banking, you can explore other financial products and services that Citizens First Bank offers to further enhance your financial well-being.