CNBC Select may receive an affiliate commission when you click on the links for products from our partners. Click here to read our full advertiser disclosure.
Advice

Here's how banks check your credit when you apply to open a checking or savings account

Will a bank check your credit score when you go to open a new checking or savings account? Here's what you need to know before you apply.

Getty Images

One of the first financial steps that many people take is opening a checking and savings account. Doing so lets you easily pay for everyday expenses, as well as save up for certain milestones in the near future.

Both types of deposit accounts offer a safe place for your cash, but their purposes differ: A checking account holds your spending money for things like monthly rent and bills, while your savings account acts as an emergency fund that stores money put aside for a rainy day. People commonly open a joint checking and savings account at the same time so they can easily transfer funds from one to the other.

Banks don't look at your credit score when you open a checking and/or savings account, but they may screen your banking history. Potential account holders might be screened through a reporting agency called ChexSystems, which pulls your checking and savings account history similar to the way your credit history is pulled for your credit report.  

The requirements are not as tough, however, as new credit card applications. Below, we take a look at what you can expect.

What happens when you open a checking and savings account

Opening a checking and savings account requires that you have proof of a few things: your age (you must be 18 or share the account with a legal guardian), your identification (you must be a legal U.S. resident) and your current address. But you don't have to worry about where your credit score stands.

According to Experian, one of the three main credit bureaus, banks and credit unions don't check your credit score when opening these two bank accounts. They may instead run a ChexSystems report.

A ChexSystems report shows banks a potential customer's past activity with deposit accounts. It shows any unpaid negative balances (from overdrafting), frequent overdraft fees, bounced checks and suspected fraud.

Access a free copy of your ChexSystems report once every 12 months by going to the consumer reporting agency's website or by calling 800-428-9623. Note that your ChexSystems report has no direct impact on your credit score.

Why you should monitor your credit

Keeping track of your credit won't affect your approval odds for a new bank account but it will help provide an overall snapshot of your financial health.

In addition to pulling an annual ChexSystems report, make sure you are checking your credit report provided by the three credit bureaus at AnnualCreditReport.com. Any concern you have about your credit history can be relieved by staying on top of it.

To begin, sign up for a credit monitoring service like Experian free credit monitoring, which is free and gives you access to your FICO credit score, credit reports and customized alerts.

Experian Free Credit Monitoring

Experian Free Credit Monitoring
Information about Experian free credit monitoring has been collected independently by CNBC and has not been reviewed or provided by the company prior to publication.
  • Cost

    Free

  • Credit bureaus monitored

    Experian

  • Credit scoring model used

    FICO

  • Dark web scan

    Yes, one-time only

  • Identity insurance

    No

See our methodology, terms apply.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the CNBC Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.