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Advantages of opening a checking account

businessHave you started your first job and need a place to store your earnings? Were you looking to improve your finances and were advised to get a banking account? Are you a parent who’s searching for the best financial account for their college-bound teenager? Or have the ideas of inconvenient banking hours and associated fees caused you to be skeptical about opening an account? Whatever brings you here, checking accounts can be an effective solution to your problems.

With new products and features on the market every day, financial institutions like OakStar Bank and others are doing more to make banking convenient for their customers. From digital banking options to waived fees and more flexible hours, you’ll find that opening a checking account has a lot more perks than in times past. Below is a look at those advantages:

Safer Than Cash

Keeping hundreds of dollars on your person or storing thousands of dollars in your home for safekeeping isn’t always the best idea. For starters, carrying around too much cash makes you a target for thieves. Since it can’t be traced, they can easily rob you and make off with your hard-earned money. Another reason keeping cash isn’t safe is natural disasters. Should your home catch fire, flood, or suffer extreme damage, your money could be lost forever. Lastly, cash is easy to lose and impossible to retrieve once it’s gone.

A checking account, on the other hand, allows you to keep all of your cash in one place. Should your connected debit card be lost, stolen, or damaged, you’re protected. Banks can freeze your funds to prohibit access from unwanted parties, refund your account for any unauthorized purchases, and mail you a new debit card should yours be lost, stolen, or damaged.

Quicker Access to Funds

Though getting paid with a check is better than not getting paid at all, gaining access to the cash value of those checks can take some time. You’d have to wait to receive the check, find the bank the check is drawn on, wait in a long line, and pay fees as a non-customer cashing a check. Heaven forbid something should happen to the check as you’ll have to have it drafted all over again.

With a checking account, however, you can have your funds directly deposited into your account giving you immediate access. Many banks have features that allow their customers to receive direct deposits from their employers or the government several days sooner. Not to mention, new mobile banking features allow you to quickly take a picture of a live check and have it instantly deposited into your account for use the next day.

More Affordable

Taking your check to a check cashing place, having to purchase a cashier’s check or money order to make payments, or even the cost of driving to locations to pay bills in cash can add up.

With a checking account, however, you eliminate a lot of these costs. Your check is directly deposited with no fees attached and you can pay your bills online.

Great for Acquiring Credit

Plan on getting a mortgage, car loan, or personal loan in the near future? If so, you’ll need to show lenders your most recent bank statements to get approved. Bank statements give insight on how you’re managing your money and also give lenders an idea of how much money you have on hand. A checking account in good standing can actually increase your chances of approval for a loan.

Universally Accepted

Did you know that not all businesses will accept a cash payment? Many prefer to deal with credit, debit, or certified funds. Not to mention, if you plan on traveling abroad, your US dollars will need to be converted to local currency. Obviously, having a checking account with a Visa or MasterCard debit attached to it is the better option. It is virtually accepted everywhere. Most checking accounts also come with checks making it easy for you to make payments to businesses who prefer this method.

All in all, having a checking account is more convenient than ever. With banks developing new ways to earn money, save money, and bank digitally, the benefits continue to pile up. Whether you’re looking for the best financial product for your kids, yourself, or your business, a checking account is a great place to start. Do some comparative research on financial institutions to determine which bank is best suited for your financial needs.