Bank account

Metro Creative Connection

When you are ready to open a bank account, it can be confusing.

You will want to visit a bank and talk to a banking representative, who can explain your options.

“The first thing people will want to consider is a checking account,” says Craig Rodenberger, Vice President and Marketing Director for Ephrata National Bank.

As he explains, a checking account will allow you to pay bills by check, online or by debit card. You can deposit paychecks and other checks into your account, so that your money is safe and available for your use when you need it.

There are several options when in comes to checking accounts. The Classic Checking is a simple checking account with no minimum balance fee and no per check fee. There is also a simple checking account for teens and young adults with no minimum balance fee, no per check fee and a $25 minimum deposit to open. There are checking accounts for people over age 50 and checking accounts that offer interest, although you will have to keep a minimum balance of $1,000.

After you have established a checking account, you can look at different options for savings accounts that will give you interest to help your money grow. Rodenberger suggests that a saving account can help you budget for emergency expenses like needing a home repair or fixing your car. You can meet with a banking representative who will explain your choices. Be careful about minimal balance requirements, so that you can avoid fees and other service charges. Most banks have people who speak Spanish and can answer your questions.

At Fulton Bank, customers who are new to banking should consider several factors when choosing a financial institution and its products.

According to Smokey Glover, Director of Fair and Responsible Banking for Fulton Financial Corporation, the first thing you want to do is to research a financial institution’s branch locations and ATM network to determine if the locations will meet your accessibility needs. Make sure there is a location near your home or work. Ask about online and mobile banking services.

“Customers should have a solid understanding of what their financial needs and goals are for their banking relationship,” says Glover.

Some customers might be looking for a basic savings account to set aside money for a larger purchase. Others might need a checking account with check-writing capabilities to easily make transactions. Having both types of accounts might be a good solution for other customers.

“Once a customer has determined the type of accounts that are needed, they can start to consider factors like minimum balance requirements and other account fees so they understand the true cost of the product or service. Many customers also want convenience products, like debit cards, and often, there are fees associated with these services,” says Glover.

You may also want to ask about account security options, such as overdraft protection and fraud/identity theft protection. If you have long-term plans to purchase a home or finance a car, you should also research a bank’s loan and mortgage products and rates.

As Glover explains, there are many considerations to think about when establishing a banking relationship. At Fulton Bank, there are employees who are available to help walk customers through the account-opening process. There are Spanish-speaking employees at the downtown Lancaster branches, including the Fulton Bank branch at Penn Square. The ATMs also provide voice instructions in both English and Spanish for your convenience.

When you are ready to open a banking account, be sure to find a bank that can answer your questions and help you find the right choices for your financial needs and goals.