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Opening a Bank Account

Having a U.S. bank account is a great way to manage your finances while studying at the University of Hartford. Opening a bank account is not a complicated process. Many banks offer free checking accounts to students. These accounts typically come with an ATM card or debit card, the ability to write checks, and the option to access your account online to review the balance and transaction history.

Opening your account

When you open an account, most banks will require two pieces of identification, such as your passport and UHA ID Card. Before you go to the bank, you need to be familiar with the basic customer identification programs that financial institutions follow when opening new accounts.

Bank Customer Identification Programs (CIP)

In an effort to reduce money laundering, U.S. banks must verify the identity of everyone who opens an account. To comply with federal regulations, banks have established Customer Identification Programs (CIP) that they are to follow for anyone who seeks to open an account.

  1. Your name
  2. Your date of birth
  3. Your street address (P.O. Box)
  4. An identification number

Establishing your Identity

  • A taxpayer identification number
  • A passport number and country of issuance
  • An alien identification card number
  • Number and country of issuance of any other government-issued document showing nationality or residence and bearing a photograph or similar safeguard

Documentation to bring with you

Documents you should take with you to open your account include

  • Your unexpired passport
  • Your I-94 Arrival Record
  • Your I-20 or DS-2019 Form
  • Any secondary form of identification you may have
  • Form W-8 BEN if you are not eligible for a SSN or ITIN.

Types of accounts and cards

Checking Accounts

Banks offer different types of checking accounts designed to fit individual needs. The cost of checking varies from bank to bank. Some banks charge per transaction, some have a basic monthly fee, and others offer free services if you maintain a certain minimum balance in your account at all times. You should be able to access information regarding your personal account, including all transactions and deposits, through the bank's website.

Debit Cards

A debit card, also known as a check card, allows you to withdraw or deposit money to your bank account using an automatic teller machine (ATM) and to make purchases at stores that accept the card. Debit cards are not credit cards.

Savings Accounts

A savings account enables you to save money and accumulate interest on your savings. Interest is paid either monthly or quarterly. The difference between a savings and a checking account is that you cannot write checks on a savings account.

Bank Cards

Many banks issue cards that allow you to deposit and withdraw money 24 hours a day using an Automated Teller Machine (ATM). These machines, frequently located outside the bank, are convenient. By using a bank card, customers avoid waiting in line at the bank and have access to funds or money after the bank closes. Banks that are members of a national ATM network allow you to access your funds with your bank card at selected ATM’s throughout the country. There are many ATMs located on campus.

Credit Cards

Credit cards may be convenient, especially if you unexpectedly have major expenses. You can pay University and medical fees, airplane tickets and car repairs with any major credit card. You must understand that you can easily accumulate large bills with credit cards, and before you know it, you may be in debt. Before you accept a credit card, you must be sure to understand all your obligations. Most banks charge an annual fee. If you are unable to pay your full balance each month, you will be charged high interest rates (usually 18 percent or higher) on the remaining balance and any additional charges you make. Make sure you stay within your budget when making credit card purchases.

Local banks in our area include:

Bank of America

836 Park Ave., Bloomfield, CT 06002

860.769.6706

People's Bank

315 Cottage Grove Road, Bloomfield, CT 06002

860.243.8295

Windsor Federal

48 Jerome Ave., Bloomfield, CT 06002

860.242.6062

Please note that the University does not recommend financial institutions to our students. There are many others in the greater Hartford area to choose from.