One Thousand Days Transformed - The Campaign for Cedarville

Simplify your money management by setting up a bank account and getting a debit or credit card. Get started with these banking resources to help you through the process!

Opening a Bank Account

What to Bring to the Bank

U.S. financial institutions are required to verify the identity of everyone who wishes to conduct financial transactions there, so the bank will need the following from you before you can open an account:

  • Your unexpired passport
  • Your I-94
  • Your I-20
  • A letter from ISS requesting the bank accept the W8-BEN as an alternate form of identity verification, or a U.S. Social Security Number (SSN)
  • A letter from ISS confirming your residential status at Cedarville University and requesting the bank’s assistance in opening your account

Banking Options

Local Banks

Online Banking Options

Types of Accounts and Cards

Checking Accounts

Checking accounts give you easy access to your money for day-to-day transactions. Some banks have a basic monthly fee for checking accounts, while others offer free services if you maintain a certain balance in your account at all times. Most banks have student options, which are low cost. All banks have online options that allow customers to access information regarding their personal account, including all transactions and deposits.

Make sure you keep an accurate record of how much money is in your account. Charging an amount that's greater than what than you have in your account is called overdrafting, and you'll be required to pay additional fees. Some banks offer overdraft protection services, which keeps this from happening.

Savings Accounts

Savings accounts let you save money and accumulate interest on your savings. Interest is paid either monthly or quarterly. Savings accounts are designed to help you save for longer term goals, rather than day-to-day transactions. Often, banks will permit you to link your checking and savings accounts to allow for easy transfer of funds between the two.

Debit Cards

Debit cards allow 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. They can only be used to the extent that you have funds in the account the card is linked to. If money is not in the account, the debit card will not work. Sometimes there is a small charge associated with using your debit card; be cautious as these charges add up over time.

Credit Cards

Credit cards can be convenient, but you should use caution. 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 need to understand your obligations. Some banks charge an annual fee. It is very important that you pay your full balance each month; if you are unable to do so, you will be charged high interest rates (usually 18% or higher) on the remaining balance and any additional charges you make. Make sure you stay within your budget when making credit card purchases and pay off your balance each month.

Checks and Deposits

How Do I Cash a Check?

To cash a check, you will need to endorse it by signing your name on the back. In addition, you will be asked for personal identification in the form of a driver’s license, a state of Ohio ID card, or a Cedarville University ID card. Some stores will cash a check for you if you shop there regularly. Supermarkets may allow you to pay by check, with authorization from their credit department, if you present the ID they request (usually an Ohio driver’s license).

How Do I Deposit Foreign Currency?

If you deposit a check drawn on a foreign bank in your U.S. checking account, it may have to go through a transfer process, which may incur international transaction fees. This means that the money is not available to you until the U.S. bank has collected it from the foreign bank. It may take several weeks before the money is credited to your account.

In countries with restrictions on foreign exchange, you may need to provide your sponsor or your family with certification of enrollment in order to receive money from your home country. Letters of certification are available, by request, in the International Student Services office.