Almost every bank or credit union requires a deposit to open a savings or checking account. Despite this industry standard, a few banks do exist that permit customers to start their account online then make a deposit at a later date. The applicant receives his account and routing numbers right away, which allows the opportunity to get a direct deposit set up to place funds into the banking account. The client may also send in a check or money order or make a deposit by visiting a branch in person once the account number is created.
- Visit the SunTrust website (see Resources). Select the savings or checking account product of your choice. A good bet for most consumers is their free checking account, which requires no opening balance to start and no monthly minimum balance to keep. This checking account is free of fees.
- Fill out the online application with SunTrust. You will need to supply personal data like your full name, address, telephone numbers, Social Security Number, date of birth, and a state identification card or driver's license number. When you are done with the online account application, SunTrust will immediately give you account and routing numbers. To ensure your account stays open, you need to establish direct deposit, mail in a deposit, or make a deposit at a SunTrust branch. Once you have a balance, SunTrust will mail checking account clients a Visa debit card as well as free checks. You usually have about a month or so to get funds into the account to avoid closure.
- Visit the Wells Fargo website (see Resources) if you do not wish to bank with SunTrust. Choose the checking or savings account of your choice. Some states have more options than others, so your choices will depend on where you live.
- Complete Wells Fargo's online account application. Almost all accounts require a $100 deposit to open, but it does not need to be made online. You will be able to use a credit or debit card, transfer funds from an account with another bank, or choose to visit a branch or mail in your deposit. Wells Fargo will give you routing and account numbers right away, which would also enable you to arrange for direct deposit into the new account. The bank usually gives you about 30 days to complete the deposit process, and if needed you could withdraw the deposit right away without deactivating your new account. Wells Fargo will send you a debit card once you have funds in your checking or savings account.