How To Open A Bank Account

By Mentor Staff | Edited By Mentor Staff

Updated On September 14, 2022

Editorial Note: This content is based solely on the author's opinions and is not provided, approved, endorsed or reviewed by any financial institution or partner.

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What is the best way how to open a bank account?

If you want to know how to open a bank account, the first step is to choose the best bank for you. You can compare bank accounts on Mentor and find the best bank account based on your needs and preferences.

Once you have selected a bank, your next step should be to open a bank account online. How to open a bank account online is a simple process. You can open a bank account online in just a few minutes and apply directly with one of our partners.

You will need to choose whether you prefer the best checking account or best saving account, depending on your needs.

Here are some considerations to determine if you need a checking account, savings account or both:

  • Purpose of Account: Is the purpose of your account to pay bills, make every day purchases and write checks? If so, then a checking account may be best. If your primary goal is to save funds for retirement or for an emergency fund, then a savings account may be best.
  • Mobile Banking: More bank transactions can be conducted online and via mobile. This may include paying bills, transferring funds and making deposits. Typically, checking accounts are used for paying bills, while both savings accounts and check accounts can handle deposits and funds transfers.
  • Direct Deposit: Do you plan to use direct deposit? You can direct deposit into a checking account or savings account.
  • Earn Interest: Do you plan to use direct deposit? You can direct deposit into a checking account or savings account.
  • Fees: Find checking accounts and savings accounts with minimal fees and ideally no monthly fee.

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Variable APR ?APR, or Annual Percentage Rate, is the price you pay to borrow money. Variable APR means that your interest rate can fluctuate over time, which can increase or decrease your monthly student loan payment. Typically, a variable-rate loan has a lower introductory rate than a fixed-loan rate loan. Variable APR includes a 0.25% discount when you enroll in autopay.
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APR
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4.49% - 8.99%
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on SoFi's website

Overview

Variable APR:
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650
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None
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Details

Eligible Loans:
Private & Federal
Eligible Degrees:
Undergraduate & Graduate
Loan Terms:
5, 7, 10, 15, 20 years
Borrower Residency:
All states
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Yes
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Yes
3.99% - 8.29%
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3.99% - 8.99%

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on Earnest's website

Overview

Variable APR:
3.99% - 8.29%
Fixed APR:
4.39% - 8.99%
Minimum Credit Score:
650
Minimum Income:
None
Fees:
None
Minimum Loan Amount:
$5,000

Details

Eligible Loans:
Private & Federal
Eligible Degrees:
Undergraduate & Graduate
Loan Terms:
5-20 years
Borrower Residency:
All States except NV
Hardship Deferment:
Yes
Co-signer Option:
No
3.99% - 8.29%
4.39% - 8.99%
3.99% - 8.99%

View Details

on NaviRefi's website

Overview

Variable APR:
3.99% - 8.29%
Fixed APR:
4.39% - 8.99%
Minimum Credit Score:
650
Minimum Income:
None
Fees:
None
Minimum Loan Amount:
$5,001 ($10,001 in CA)

Details

Eligible Loans:
Private & Federal
Eligible Degrees:
Undergraduate & Graduate
Loan Terms:
5-20 years
Borrower Residency:
All States except NV
Hardship Deferment:
Yes
Co-signer Option:
No
3.53% - 7.24%
4.48% - 7.29%
3.53% - 7.29%

View Details

on ELFI's website

Overview

Variable APR:
3.53% - 7.24%
Fixed APR:
4.48% - 7.29%
Minimum Credit Score:
680
Minimum Income:
$35,000
Fees:
None
Minimum Loan Amount:
$10,000

Details

Eligible Loans:
Private & Federal
Eligible Degrees:
Undergraduate & Graduate
Loan Terms:
5, 7, 10, 15, 20 years
Borrower Residency:
All States
Hardship Deferment:
Yes
Co-signer Option:
Yes
2.50% - 8.65%
3.99% - 8.49%
2.50% - 8.65%

View Details

on Splash's website

Overview

Variable APR:
2.50% - 8.65%
Fixed APR:
3.99% - 8.49%
Minimum Credit Score:
640
Minimum Income:
None
Fees:
None
Minimum Loan Amount:
$5,000

Details

Eligible Loans:
Private & Federal
Eligible Degrees:
Undergraduate & Graduate
Loan Terms:
5 – 25 years
Borrower Residency:
All states
Hardship Deferment:
Varies
Co-signer Option:
No
5.09% - 11.67%
5.39% - 11.87%
5.09% - 11.87%

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on Citizens' website

Overview

Variable APR:
5.09% - 11.67%
Fixed APR:
5.39% - 11.87%
Minimum Credit Score:
Not disclosed
Minimum Income:
$24,000
Fees:
No prepayment or origination fees
Minimum Loan Amount:
$10,000

Details

Eligible Loans:
Private & Federal
Eligible Degrees:
Undergraduate & Graduate
Loan Terms:
5, 7, 10, 15, 20 years
Borrower Residency:
All states
Hardship Deferment:
Yes
Co-signer Option:
Yes
2.50% - 6.80%
4.49% - 6.90%
2.50% - 6.90%

View Details

on Laurel Road's website

Overview

Variable APR:
2.50% - 6.80%
Fixed APR:
4.49% - 6.90%
Minimum Credit Score:
660
Minimum Income:
None
Fees:
None
Minimum Loan Amount:
$5,000

Details

Eligible Loans:
Private & Federal
Eligible Degrees:
Undergraduate & Graduate
Loan Terms:
5, 7, 10, 15, 20 years
Borrower Residency:
All States
Hardship Deferment:
Yes
Co-signer Option:
Yes
3.27% - 6.87%
3.99% - 10.68%
3.27% - 10.68%

View Details

on LendKey's website

Overview

Variable APR:
3.27% - 6.87%
Fixed APR:
3.99% - 10.68%
Minimum Credit Score:
680
Minimum Income:
$24,000
Fees:
None
Minimum Loan Amount:
$5,000

Details

Eligible Loans:
Private & Federal
Eligible Degrees:
Undergraduate & Graduate
Loan Terms:
5, 7, 10, 15, 20 years
Borrower Residency:
All states, except ME, ND, NV, RI, WV
Hardship Deferment:
Yes
Co-signer Option:
Yes
-
3.94% - 9.08%
3.94% - 9.08%

View Details

on ISL's website

Overview

Variable APR:
-
Fixed APR:
3.94% - 9.08%
Minimum Credit Score:
670
Minimum Income:
None
Fees:
None
Minimum Loan Amount:
$5,000 ($10,000 in CA)

Details

Eligible Loans:
Private & Federal
Eligible Degrees:
Undergraduate & Graduate
Loan Terms:
5, 7, 10, 15, 20 years
Borrower Residency:
All states, except OR and ME
Hardship Deferment:
Yes
Co-signer Option:
Yes

What do you need to open a bank account?

1. Gather your documents: In terms of what you need to open a bank account, you will need several pieces of information, which may include:

  • Name, address, date of birth and contact information
  • Social Security Number
  • Driver’s license or other government identification
  • Employer Name and occupation

If you open a joint account, both account holders will need provide this information to open a bank account online.

2. Complete an application: You can apply to open a bank account online. You can apply through Mentor with one of our partner banks. It is customary for a bank to check your credit before approving your application.

3. Sign your application: When you open a bank account online, typically you can you’re your application electronically.

4. Minimum Deposit: You can open a bank account with no minimum deposit in many cases, but typically fund the bank account thereafter. You can typically fund a bank account with a bank wire, ACH deposit or by check.

5. Use your bank account: Once you have funded your bank account, you are ready to start using your bank account.

6. Set up direct deposit: You can set up direct deposit so that your paycheck is deposited directly into your bank account. Speak with your employer’s payroll department to help you enroll in direct deposit.

How do you choose the best online bank account?

When choose to open a bank account online, there are several factors to consider to find the best bank account. The best online bank account for you depends on what you value most – whether it’s the banking tools, mobile access or customer service.

Here are some of the essential factors to consider when selecting the right online bank account and bank for you:

Bank Fees: Choose a savings account or checking account with reasonable or no fees. Most online bank accounts do not charge monthly fees.

Mobile Bank Account: If you are looking for the best bank account for mobile access, make sure to find the best bank who offers this flexibility. The good news is that the bank and bank account you choose likely has mobile access, since most major platforms do. Mobile banking can help you deposit, make transfers and pay bills.

Customer Service: When finding the right bank, customer service may or may not be an important criteria for you. Some investors prefer a bank to have 24/7 customer service, while others are comfortable to chat online with their bank. The good news is that most of the best banks offer comprehensive customer service, with many open for extended hours.

Account Security: The best bank accounts have secure platforms and the highest standards for online security. Secure websites (noted with the “https”) are commonplace when you choose the best online bank. Some banks even offer two-factor authentication for an extra level of security.

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