The journey of financial independence starts with banking. Fortunately, you can open a bank account in the comfort of your home through online banking. You can choose to open an account from various financial institutions like banks, credit unions, and other monetary establishments. According to the experts at SoFi, “Anyone over 18 can open an individual or joint online bank account.” However, you would need to furnish some documents for the bank to verify your identity and address. Documents required for opening a bank account through online banking include:
This proves that you are of legal age and a country citizen. You will need to show your passport or national I.D. card to open the account. Alternatively, you can use a driver’s license or military I.D. card for the same.
You can use your passport or visa if you are not a country citizen. The passport or visa should be valid for at least six months. You can also use a birth certificate issued by the state government, a permanent residency, or a work permit. Such documents must have your signature, photo, and other details.
Proof of Residence
The utility bill you receive from the local utility company is an important document for proving your address. A utility bill demonstrates that you are a permanent resident of the area. You should be prepared with several copies of this document in case one gets lost or damaged during mailing or delivery. If you have just moved to a new address, you can show a recent letter from your previous landlord as proof of residence.
Social Security Number
The Social Security Number, commonly abbreviated as SSN, is a nine-digit number issued to U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and temporary (working) residents of the United States to administer Social Security benefits. It is also used to identify individuals for tax purposes.
It would be best if you had a valid SSN for opening online bank account. You can get this number by applying online or going to your nearest Social Security Administration office with the required documents and forms in hand. You will need proof of your citizenship, identity, age, and evidence that you are authorized to work in the country. Credit history will be an added advantage if you already have one.
Bank Statement or Letter from Bank
You must provide a letter from a bank stating that you have or had an account with them for at least three months before applying for an online bank account in the U.S. You can ask your previous banker for a letter stating this fact or use a recent bank statement that shows that you had an active checking account with them.
The letter should be on the official letterhead of the bank. It should also contain:
- Contact information of both parties
- The signature of the person who signed it on behalf of the company or bank
- Employee’s signature on behalf of said company or bank
Opening an online bank account is easy. All you need is a valid photo I.D., personal information, and a US-based bank statement. You will also be required to provide proof of address and employment.