Establish and use a checking account

Life’s Financial Journeys

Heading Off to College
Getting Out on Your Own
Blending Two Lives
Having a Child
Emptying the Nest
Entering Retirement
Death of a Life Partner
Military Life

The safest and easiest way to pay your bills is with a checking account at a bank or credit union.

You deposit your money with the bank and they hold the money for you. You can then pay your bills with a check, an online transaction, a debit card and other ways. The bank handles the transaction of taking the money from your account and transferring it to whomever you paid.

The following resources may assist you establishing a checking account:

FAQ’s on checking and bank accounts

Checking account search

What if your debit card is lost or stolen?

What is the difference between a debit and a charge card?

How to use online banking

How to setup online bill pay

What do all the numbers on a check mean?

Heading Off To College Tasks

1. Managing your own money
2. Finding a place to live
3. Setting up your own banking account
4. Getting your first job
5. Using credit wisely while in school

Setting up your own banking account Subtasks

1. Select a credit union or bank
2. Establish and use a checking account
3. Be responsible with your checking account


NAPFA Consumer Education Foundation
8700 W. Bryn Mawr Ave., Suite 700N
Chicago, IL 60631
(847) 483–5400 ext. 106