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Santa Clara University

Bank Account

Selecting and Opening a Bank Account

When you arrive in the United States, you may want to open a bank account.

No, you do not need a social security card to open a bank account.

There are several banks with locations near campus.

Bank of America – 485 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, CA 95050

Wells Fargo – 1111 Washington Street, Santa Clara, CA 95050

Citibank – 2500 Pruneridge Avenue, Santa Clara, CA 95050

No, SCU does not endorse any banks. Selecting a bank is your decision.  

Most banks offer similar services with just a few slight differences. When you select a bank it is important to choose one that fits your needs. Be sure to take the time to learn about the differences in rates and fees at each bank.

We suggest you consider the following when deciding on a bank:

Unfortunately identity theft, or the act of stealing someone’s personal information, does happen. Most banks offer protections against identity theft. You’ll want to find out what a prospective bank does to help protect you from identity theft. Additionally, it’s important to know what their policies are if identity theft does occur.

Some banks require you to deposit a certain amount of money in order to open your account.

Most will accept cash deposits, but we recommend not carrying large sums of money. You’ll want to make sure you will be able to make a deposit via wire transfer or check from a foreign bank.

Many banks require that you keep a minimum amount in your account at all times. Falling below that amount will result in being charged additional fees as a penalty. Be sure to find out how much you will be required to have in your account at all times before opening it.

Most banks do not charge you a fee for withdrawing money from your account if you use their ATM’s. However, most do charge you a fee for withdrawing money from your account using another bank’s ATM. Be sure to find out how much you will be charged if you need to use another bank’s ATM to withdraw money.

Some banks charge you monthly or annual fees to have an account. Be sure to find out how much you will you be charged for your checking or savings accounts.

Some banks charge you a fee if you write a check or make a payment with money that is not in your account. You could be charged for each payment that is an overdraft, daily or even both. Be sure to find out what the bank’s policy is.

Not all banks provide checks for free. If you need checks to pay bills you will want to find out how much your bank will charge you to provide you with checks to use.

In order to open an account you will need:

  • Your passport,
  • Your I-20 or D2-2019
  • One other form of photo identification

US immigration regulations are complex and change frequently.  The University strives to maintain a website that is both current and helpful, however, Santa Clara University is not responsible for students maintaining lawful immigration status; this is the responsibility of the student.  Further, resources and links do not constitute endorsement by Santa Clara University.