Opening a Bank Account in Illinois

When you arrive to the United States, it is important to open
a bank account so you can manage your living expenses and finances while in
school. Besides, it is not a good idea to walk around with a great amount of
cash in your pocket. After choosing the bank that you will be working with, you
will need a Checking Account. This
account provides you with a bank card (Debit / Credit Card) and checkbook so
you can make purchases around town. You can use your Card to withdraw money,
make deposits, and cash checks from the bank ATM machines available all over
campus and downtown. A checking account allows you to access your Online and
Mobile Banking services as well as to use wire transfers (Send or receive funds
from other countries). Some banks allow students to link their university I-Card
to their bank account.

Be aware that some banks require a minimum deposit ($50-$100, but it varies) to open your account. You
may also choose to open a Savings Account to reserve funds for the future. Some
students, who pay tuition fees, use the Savings
to manage and transfer great amount of money to the United States. Ask
your bank about the types of Savings Accounts they have available. You may
choose to open both accounts, Savings and Checking Accounts.


Banks will also charge a small fee for the extra check books you order (around $15). Check
with the bank to make sure you understand the policies and requirements (e.g.,
minimum balance, services fees, and late charges) as well as the banking
practices of your bank of choice to avoid unforeseen expenses.  

Having a bank account is convenient. Also, the University
may use your Checking Account to make deposits related to your Assistantships
or Fellowships. So, it is important to have your account in place as soon as
possible. Visit different banks, talk to a bank representative to discuss the
options. Compare the services and costs before deciding on a bank. International
students must go to the bank in-person in order to open an account.


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