Just Some Stuff You Need to Know
Tag Archives: young adult
Fortunately for you, opening a bank account has gotten a heck of a lot easier over the years, and as an added bonus the days of balancing your checkbook are all but gone. The process is not hard and can be broken down into steps.
Step 1. Choose which bank you want to work with. If you have not already done this – shop around! Figure out what kind of account you will need – savings or checking. You have so many choices now, and not all are the traditional walk-in style of bank. Credit Unions have a lot to offer, so if you can get a membership to one consider doing so. Online banks can provide great rates and customer service, just be sure to do some research so you know who you are working with. Traditional banks offer competitive rates and many features but also vary widely in their fees. Find out if each bank offers online and mobile banking, and what if any fees are associated with the account. Bring along some money.
Step 2. Pick the product you want (checking, savings) and visit the website or branch office. They will usually offer a variety of services and account types but they are all variations of checking, savings, or loan accounts. Ask again about any fees. Decide if you will need overdraft protection and how you will fund that. In a branch office a teller or banker would help you fill out the application, online you will fill it out yourself. Be prepared to provide proof of ID and (if in the US) your social security number also.
Step 3. Agree to the terms, tell them how much you want to deposit, then sign the forms and create your account! Some online banks will ask you to mail them your initial deposit or identification, that will vary by bank. You may choose to pick out checks if you decide to order a box of them. At a branch office they will give you a starter set of fill-in checks to use until your order arrives by mail. Your ATM card will be ready to use right away and can be used anywhere a credit card is accepted as well as at cash machines. Just be sure to keep an eye on your balance! Generally you can log into your account online immediately, and will be able to see any charges against your account almost as soon as they are made.
Rental leases are negotiable only before you sign them but you should always try to get the best deal that you can. Ask for a free month (or two!) when negotiating the lease, the landlord may meet you halfway, you will never know unless you ask. Also ask about roommates, pets, and any additional costs that might arise. It’s not necessary to pay a broker or an agency just for the privilege of looking through their files. The same listings are always available somewhere else for no charge. You can check an agency’s reputation by going to the Better Business Bureau’s website. The Board of Realtors (any state that sells property has one) will have records of any complaints filed against realtors and property managers. You can usually check online and it just takes a few minutes. Personal reviews can also be relevant here but are often left by irate former tenants who perhaps are only presenting one side of the situation, so take those with the proverbial grain of salt.
When you visit a potential rental dress appropriately. Make sure you are looking at the actual rental unit, not some ‘model’ unit that is for display only. Be very clear on what the move-in costs are and what your monthly costs will be. Will you have to pay for water, sewer, and trash removal? There is usually a security deposit required along with the first month’s rent, this is often referred to as ‘first and last’ or the first month’s rent plus another as the deposit. Some landlords will require a damage deposit as well, though that is not as common. If you have pets expect to pay a deposit per pet, if they accept pets at all. Several utility companies will ask for a security deposit as well, especially if it is your first time having an account with them. It’s not all bad, and you get a lot of this back – especially if you pay your bills, but it is better to know about all of these costs up front than to be surprised with them when first renting.
If you are subletting or renting a room from someone you know be aware that these costs all still exist, even if you are not required to sign for them so be reasonable about the rent you are willing to pay and understand why it needs to be paid on time.