Once you have a good idea as to the specific type of personal account you wish to go for, it is time to shop around for the best personal account available in the market. Since every bank is different, you need to make a comparative analysis before deciding on an account.
Factors to Consider
With a vast plethora of banks just waiting to get your business, how should you choose which is the best one for you? More importantly, on which criteria do you judge these financial institutions? Here are some pointers to help you out on your quest to find the best personal account:
- Interest rates: This is one of the most important factors you?ll need to consider. The rate of interest being offered will determine the amount of savings you will make.
- Proximity: Even though this may sound unimportant, it is surprising how this factor can play such a crucial role. Check to see if the bank has branches that are close to your home, office or shopping area. You?ll be amazed at how important this will be once you start using the account.
- Facilities offered: There are certain banks that will offer you free access to the cash machines that belong to other banks. This can be a great advantage, especially if you find yourself in an emergency when you might need cash on short notice. Some banks may also offer the facility to use post offices to pay your bills or withdraw cash. These can be important considerations in determining the best personal account of choice. Another important facility most banks provide these days is telephone banking. That is, using the phone to check on your current balance or for paying bills, etc.
- Special needs: For physically handicapped people or for those with disabilities, many banks provide special facilities such as statements written in Braille and services to collect bill payments at your doorstep. If these types of services are important to you, be sure to check if your bank provides these services.
Documents You'll Need to Open an Account
Once you have made your choice about which personal account is the best for you, you will need to complete certain formalities required by the bank. For starters, you will need to submit proof of identity, as well as proof of address. The same document cannot be used to verify both these details. Some of the commonly accepted documents include electric, phone or water bills, a copy of your current passport, driving licence, your employee ID card, a medical card, any insurance certificate, etc.
Is There a Chance of Rejection?
There may be a chance that your application for opening a personal account is refused. There is no obligation on the part of the bank to open an account for you. There may be several reasons why your application could be rejected. For example, having a poor credit score or a bad credit history could mean a rejection to open a personal account. Even the bank with the best personal account facilities may refuse to open an account for you. They are also not obligated to inform you what the credit agency has informed them about you. However, as an account opener you do have the right to ask the bank for a copy of the information they have on you. This will be provided for a small fee. Just in case you find any discrepancies in the information they have, you can ask for a correction and reapply with the bank.
Some Dos and Don'ts
After you have opened a personal account, it is crucial that you do everything you can to maintain the account. Overdrafts can cause serious problems when you're trying to apply for loans, etc. because your credit report will be affected negatively. Here are some tips to keep your account on the up and up:
- Always keep a sufficient balance in your account. This will prevent any occurrences of bounced cheques and overdrafts.
- Ask your bank about overdraft protection. This is useful in case you accidentally overdraw your account.
- Be sure to scrutinise your bank statements carefully. This will ensure prevention of any errors.
- Always keep your cheque card in a safe place, and keep you PIN number confidential.
- If you find any suspicious transactions on your account, report it to the bank immediately. This helps minimise fraud.