Why Was My Bank Account Application Denied?

Why You Can’t Open a Bank Account and What to Do Next

It’s certainly a frustrating experience to be denied a checking account. The problem could be with your past banking history, an error on your bank reports, or a mistake you made filling out your application, among other reasons. Once you find out what the issue is, you can take steps to remedy the situation and hopefully get approved for a bank account.

A checking account serves as a hub for many people’s financial life. It’s where your paycheck is likely deposited and how you pay your bills. Here’s the information you need to move forward when you can’t open a bank account.

Reasons Why You Can’t Open a Bank Account

There are a few common reasons that can cause you to be unable to open a bank account.

Negative Information on ChexSystems

Typically, banks don’t pull your credit score when you apply for an account. They do, however, usually look into your prior checking account activity via ChexSystems, the most popular banking reporting agency. ChexSystems provides a score reflecting how well you previously handled your banking life. The banks use this information to decide whether to qualify you for a checking account.

Negative items on your ChexSystems report may result in you being denied a checking account. They can cause banks to consider you a high-risk customer for financial services. Negative information can include:

•  Forced account closures

•  Bounced checks or overdrafts

•  Suspected fraud or identity theft

•  Unpaid fees or negative bank balances from a current or closed accounts

•  Too many account applications submitted over a short period

These negative marks on your record can last up to five years.

Errors on Your ChexSystems Report

Just as you may have credit report errors, so too can your ChexSystems report have mistakes. This could trigger your bank account application to be rejected, even if your past checking account management was good.

You can obtain a copy of your ChexSystems report once a year or whenever your application for a bank account is denied based on the report. (Keep in mind that applying for a bank account too many times counts as a black mark against you. If you get rejected, it’s probably a good idea to investigate your banking report vs just putting in more applications.) You’ll find details below on how to access your report.

Bankruptcy

If you have filed for bankruptcy, the bank will likely find out. In fact, there is often a question about bankruptcy on an account application. The bank could decide that your past bankruptcy means you are too much of a risk to offer you a bank account.

Typically, your borrowing capacity will be significantly limited by bankruptcy, as will the number of financial institutions willing to provide you with financial services, such as a checking account.

Your Identity Can’t Be Verified

An application for a bank account may be rejected because there are mistakes on it and/or the information entered does not match the documents you submitted. For example, if you have recently moved, the verification source may not recognize your new address, or you might have answered security questions incorrectly when prompted by the verification system.

Here are other reasons your identity might not be verified:

•  Your submission had an error or typo (perhaps in your Social Security number)..

•  Your credit profile may contain erroneous information.

•  Your credit report could be frozen if there is suspicion of fraud or identity theft.

•  Your documents may have expired.

•  Your documents may be unreadable.

•  You may have submitted a phone number that is not associated with your address.

•  Your proof of identity, such as a copy of your driver’s license or passport, and the information typed into an application don’t match.


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What to Do After You’ve Been Denied Opening a Bank Account

If you’ve been denied a checking account, you may well want to apply elsewhere immediately. But a word of warning: Doing so could cause your application to be rejected because you are requesting too many new accounts too often. To maximize your chances of success, take the following steps before you reapply.

1. Find Out Why Your Application Was Denied and Ask the Bank to Reconsider

By law, the bank should tell you why your application was denied. Regardless of the bank’s information from a reporting agency, the bank makes its own decisions when approving account applications. You may be able to overturn the bank’s decision depending on the circumstances. It’s probably worthwhile to make that request.

For instance, in the case of a typo on your application information or a very old issue with an unpaid overdraft fee, you might be able to get the bank to reconsider.

2. Check Your Banking Report

You can obtain a copy of your ChexSystems report once a year and whenever you are denied a bank account if the report is the cause of your rejection. Visit the ChexSystems’ website or call 800-428-9623.

3. Look for Errors and Fraudulent Activity

Read the report from ChexSystems carefully, looking for fraudulent activity or mistakes in information such as your name, address, phone number, or Social Security number. For any errors, contact the agency, and be ready to provide supporting information to ensure the issue gets corrected.

4. Clean Up Your Report

Look at the negative actions on your report and fix them; you can file a dispute for anything erroneous by going to the ChexSystems website. Pay off any debts and unsettled fees. Ask to have the negative activity removed. Otherwise, it can stay on your report for up to five years.

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Consider Alternative Solutions

If you have been denied a bank account and can’t quickly resolve the issue, here are a couple of workarounds to consider:

Second-Chance Checking Account

Some banking institutions offer a second-chance account to those denied a traditional checking account. A second-chance account typically provides limited services. It may set a cap on debit card usage, not provide paper checks, and not enable overdraft protection. Nevertheless, this kind of account can help improve your financial life if managed responsibly.

Also worth noting: These accounts often come with higher-than-usual fees, but you may be able to upgrade a second-chance account to a regular checking account within a year or two if you pay the fees and maintain a positive balance. These accounts can help you on your path to building a solid banking history.

Prepaid Debit Cards

If you need a way to spend on daily expenses and pay bills without a bank account, prepaid debit cards could be a good solution. You load a dollar value onto these cards (they’re available at many retailers, such as gas stations and supermarkets), and you can then tap or swipe to use the funds.

Make sure you’re aware of any fees you might incur when using or reloading your card, and know that the usage of these cards isn’t reported. In other words, it won’t build your credit score or your banking history in any way. But it can be a valuable stop-gap measure when you don’t have a bank account and need a convenient way to transfer funds.

Recommended: How Often Should You Monitor Your Checking Account?

The Takeaway

Having your application for a bank account denied is an upsetting experience that can definitely limit your financial life. The root of the problem could be that ChexSystems or another consumer reporting agency has indicated that you are a high-risk customer. Or your application could be rejected because mistakes were made or your identity couldn’t be verified. By taking steps to remove errors and repair damage, you’ll be on the road to get the account you need to keep your financial life humming along.

When you’re ready to apply for a checking account again, check out what SoFi has to offer.

Interested in opening an online bank account? When you sign up for a SoFi Checking and Savings account with direct deposit, you’ll get a competitive annual percentage yield (APY), pay zero account fees, and enjoy an array of rewards, such as access to the Allpoint Network of 55,000+ fee-free ATMs globally. Qualifying accounts can even access their paycheck up to two days early.


Better banking is here with SoFi, NerdWallet’s 2024 winner for Best Checking Account Overall.* Enjoy up to 4.60% APY on SoFi Checking and Savings.

FAQ

Why am I getting denied to open a bank account?

There are several reasons you could be denied a bank account, including mistakes on your application, negative activity on your checking account history, or errors on your ChexSystems or similar report.

Can you get a bank account if you have committed fraud?

If you have committed fraud, you will likely have a negative history with ChexSystems, and you will likely have your bank account application declined. However, you might get a second chance checking account. If you maintain a positive balance and pay the monthly fees, you can probably upgrade to a regular checking account within a year or two.

Can a bank refuse to let you open an account?

Yes; banks can decide whether or not they want to offer an account to an applicant. They might deny an account if you have negative activity (such as unpaid overdraft fees and account closures) on your ChexSystems report or if there’s a mistake on your application. Banks are, however, required by law to explain why they reject your application.


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SoFi members with direct deposit activity can earn 4.60% annual percentage yield (APY) on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances. Direct Deposit means a recurring deposit of regular income to an account holder’s SoFi Checking or Savings account, including payroll, pension, or government benefit payments (e.g., Social Security), made by the account holder’s employer, payroll or benefits provider or government agency (“Direct Deposit”) via the Automated Clearing House (“ACH”) Network during a 30-day Evaluation Period (as defined below). Deposits that are not from an employer or government agency, including but not limited to check deposits, peer-to-peer transfers (e.g., transfers from PayPal, Venmo, etc.), merchant transactions (e.g., transactions from PayPal, Stripe, Square, etc.), and bank ACH funds transfers and wire transfers from external accounts, or are non-recurring in nature (e.g., IRS tax refunds), do not constitute Direct Deposit activity. There is no minimum Direct Deposit amount required to qualify for the stated interest rate.

As an alternative to direct deposit, SoFi members with Qualifying Deposits can earn 4.60% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances. Qualifying Deposits means one or more deposits that, in the aggregate, are equal to or greater than $5,000 to an account holder’s SoFi Checking and Savings account (“Qualifying Deposits”) during a 30-day Evaluation Period (as defined below). Qualifying Deposits only include those deposits from the following eligible sources: (i) ACH transfers, (ii) inbound wire transfers, (iii) peer-to-peer transfers (i.e., external transfers from PayPal, Venmo, etc. and internal peer-to-peer transfers from a SoFi account belonging to another account holder), (iv) check deposits, (v) instant funding to your SoFi Bank Debit Card, (vi) push payments to your SoFi Bank Debit Card, and (vii) cash deposits. Qualifying Deposits do not include: (i) transfers between an account holder’s Checking account, Savings account, and/or Vaults; (ii) interest payments; (iii) bonuses issued by SoFi Bank or its affiliates; or (iv) credits, reversals, and refunds from SoFi Bank, N.A. (“SoFi Bank”) or from a merchant.

SoFi Bank shall, in its sole discretion, assess each account holder’s Direct Deposit activity and Qualifying Deposits throughout each 30-Day Evaluation Period to determine the applicability of rates and may request additional documentation for verification of eligibility. The 30-Day Evaluation Period refers to the “Start Date” and “End Date” set forth on the APY Details page of your account, which comprises a period of 30 calendar days (the “30-Day Evaluation Period”). You can access the APY Details page at any time by logging into your SoFi account on the SoFi mobile app or SoFi website and selecting either (i) Banking > Savings > Current APY or (ii) Banking > Checking > Current APY. Upon receiving a Direct Deposit or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits to your account, you will begin earning 4.60% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% on checking balances on or before the following calendar day. You will continue to earn these APYs for (i) the remainder of the current 30-Day Evaluation Period and through the end of the subsequent 30-Day Evaluation Period and (ii) any following 30-day Evaluation Periods during which SoFi Bank determines you to have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits without interruption.

SoFi Bank reserves the right to grant a grace period to account holders following a change in Direct Deposit activity or Qualifying Deposits activity before adjusting rates. If SoFi Bank grants you a grace period, the dates for such grace period will be reflected on the APY Details page of your account. If SoFi Bank determines that you did not have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits during the current 30-day Evaluation Period and, if applicable, the grace period, then you will begin earning the rates earned by account holders without either Direct Deposit or Qualifying Deposits until you have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits in a subsequent 30-Day Evaluation Period. For the avoidance of doubt, an account holder with both Direct Deposit activity and Qualifying Deposits will earn the rates earned by account holders with Direct Deposit.

Members without either Direct Deposit activity or Qualifying Deposits, as determined by SoFi Bank, during a 30-Day Evaluation Period and, if applicable, the grace period, will earn 1.20% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances.

Interest rates are variable and subject to change at any time. These rates are current as of 10/24/2023. There is no minimum balance requirement. Additional information can be found at https://www.sofi.com/legal/banking-rate-sheet.


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Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands, products, or companies mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.

Disclaimer: Many factors affect your credit scores and the interest rates you may receive. SoFi is not a Credit Repair Organization as defined under federal or state law, including the Credit Repair Organizations Act. SoFi does not provide “credit repair” services or advice or assistance regarding “rebuilding” or “improving” your credit record, credit history, or credit rating. For details, see the FTC’s website .

External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third-party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.

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Guide to Paying for Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) School

Guide to Paying for Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) School

Certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) are nurses with graduate-level education who provide anesthetics to patients in surgical and other procedures.

Currently, nurse anesthetists must have a registered nurse (RN) license and a master’s degree from a nurse anesthesia educational program accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA) of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs or a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program. Nurse anesthesia programs typically range in length from 24 to 51 months. By 2025, all CRNAs must have a Doctorate in Nurse Anesthesia Practice (DNAP), according to the COA. It typically takes two years for a student with an MSN to earn a doctorate.

Continue reading for a look at nine tips that can help you learn how to pay for CRNA school.

How Much Does CRNA School Cost?

You may have already spent a few years paying for nursing school to get your registered nursing degree, but how much does it cost to further your education to become a nurse anesthetist?

The total cost of CRNA school (including tuition, clinical fees and other expenses) can vary widely, depending on whether you choose to attend an out-of-state institution, a private college, or an in-state university.

For example, the 2021-2022 tuition and fees at Loma Linda University in Loma Linda, California, are an estimated $138,666. In contrast, tuition and fees are approximately $45,000 for Arkansas State University’s. Note that there may be additional costs associated with a CRNA degree, such as books, supplies, or exam fees.

Note that the average nursing school cost can vary widely, ranging from $6,000 for an associate degree to over $100,000 for an advanced degree.

9 Tips to Help You Pay for CRNA School

Let’s take a look at nine tips you can use to pay for CRNA school, from choosing a less expensive school to answering the question, “Will financial aid pay for CRNA school?”

1. Choose a Less Expensive School

You can save money by choosing a less expensive school and/or by making sure that you have residency in the state of the university you want to attend. For example, the total cost of attending Georgetown University’s DNAP program for the first year is $140,693, $86,361 for the second year and $75,884 for the third year.

The cost to attend the University of Iowa is $85,553 if you’re an in-state resident or $159,206 if you’re an out-of-state resident.

It’s important to compare and contrast the costs of several programs before you decide which school will both meet your needs and help you save money.

2. Save Money

You may also want to consider saving money for college to limit the amount of money you’ll have to borrow for CRNA education. Knowing the costs of the schools on your shortlist can help you earmark a certain amount of money to set aside. However, remember that you may receive scholarships and grants that you don’t have to pay back. You might not need to save for the complete costs of a nurse anesthetist program. One way to understand your exact costs is to meet with the financial aid office of the schools you’re considering. They’ll give you an idea of the type of institutional financial aid you could qualify for.

There are a wide variety of ways to save, including through a general savings account, certificate of deposit (CD) or a 529 plan, which is a state tax-advantaged plan that will allow you to withdraw funds tax-free to cover nearly any type of college expense. 529 plans may also have additional state or federal tax benefits.

3. FAFSA and Financial Aid

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) refers to a form you can complete to determine your eligibility for student financial aid. Learn more about the FAFSA with SoFi’s comprehensive FAFSA guide.

You can qualify for federal student aid, including grants and federal student loans, through the FAFSA. You may also have to file the FAFSA in order to qualify for institutional scholarships.

4. Work More

If you’re already working as a nurse, you may want to consider picking up some more hours in order or prepare to save for your CRNA degree. It’s important to note that since nurse anesthesia programs are so labor intensive, most students find it difficult to work while attending CRNA school. However, you can certainly save up as much as possible prior to entering school in order to save as much as possible. If you must work, you may want to strictly limit your hours, but that’s a personal decision.

5. Getting an Employer to Pay for Your Education

Will a hospital pay for CRNA school?

Hospitals and groups often offer tuition reimbursement to offset loan debt. However, you may have to sign a tuition reimbursement payback agreement, which means you may have to pay back your reimbursement if you leave the company within a specific amount of time.

Ask your human resources office and read the fine print if your hospital has an agreement to see if you need to repay tuition if you get laid off or fired.

6. Grants

Grants are “free money” that you typically don’t generally have to pay back. The American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) offers nurse anesthesia grants to develop research for member CRNAs to develop healthcare policy, the science of anesthesia, education, practice/clinical or leadership opportunities. The Foundation will reimburse up to 15% indirect costs with proper documentation.

The AANA grants listed above are research grants, but you may be able to tackle state grants, school grants for graduate students and other types of grants by filing the FAFSA. The best way to learn more is to ask more questions through the financial aid offices of the schools you’re considering.

7. Scholarships

Like grants, you also do not have to pay back scholarships.

The AANA also offers scholarships. Students who are AANA members and currently enrolled in an accredited nurse anesthesia program may be eligible for scholarships as long as you’re in good standing in your program, meet the application requirements, and apply online.

In addition, the university you plan to attend may also offer merit-based scholarships. Contact your school’s financial aid office to see what they offer and how to apply.

8. Private Student Loans

Private student loans originate with a bank, credit union, or online lender, not the federal government like in the case of federal student loans. Private student loans can fill in the gaps between tuition as well as your savings, grants, scholarships, and federal student loans.

It’s a good idea to explore the interest rates, fees, repayment terms, discharge, and repayment options among private student loan lenders.

The application process usually involves submitting information about your personal information, school you plan to attend, graduation date, and loan amount you need. You must also agree to the lender’s terms and conditions.

It’s important to note that private student loans don’t offer the same borrower protections, like income-driven repayment plans, as federal student loans, so they are typically considered an option only after they have thoroughly reviewed all other financing opportunities.

Recommended: Private Student Loan Guide

9. Direct PLUS Loans

Similar to student loans for undergrads, you can also get student loans for graduate school. You do have to repay loans.

As a graduate student, you can become eligible for federal loans that come from the U.S. Department of Education, including Direct Unsubsidized Loans and Direct Plus Loans. You can borrow up to your cost of attendance. Direct Unsubsidized Loans have a lower interest rate and origination fee than the Direct PLUS Loan, also called the Graduate PLUS Loan.

For Direct Unsubsidized Loans for graduate students disbursed on or after July 1, 2023 and before July 1, 2024, the fixed interest rate for Direct Unsubsidized loans is 5.50%. Direct PLUS Loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2023, and before July 1, 2024, have a fixed interest rate of 8.05%.

The benefits of federal loans include a six-month grace period before beginning repayment as well as flexible repayment plans with Public Service Loan Forgiveness eligibility. This means that as long as you make 120 qualifying monthly payments under a qualifying repayment plan, you might get your loans forgiven as long as you work full-time for a qualifying employer.

How Much CRNAs Can Expect to Make?

Nurse anesthetists can expect to make a median salary of $214,200 per year or $102.98 per hour, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The job outlook for these jobs will grow about 38% from 2022 to 2032.

The Takeaway

There are a lot of ways to make your dreams of becoming a CRNA a reality. You may want to consider filing the FAFSA to qualify for federal loans, grants, and other types of funds. The AANA may also offer scholarships that you qualify for, but don’t forget to check with your employer or other sources, such as local businesses, for other funds.

If you’ve exhausted all federal student aid options, no-fee private student loans from SoFi can help you pay for school. The online application process is easy, and you can see rates and terms in just minutes. Repayment plans are flexible, so you can find an option that works for your financial plan and budget.


Cover up to 100% of school-certified costs including tuition, books, supplies, room and board, and transportation with a private student loan from SoFi.

FAQ

Can you get paid for going to CRNA school?

You typically cannot get paid to attend CRNA school. However, universities often offer a wide variety of financial aid options, through both merit-based and need-based aid. You may need to file the FAFSA in order to qualify for certain types of aid. Check with the financial aid office at the universities you’re considering for more information about your financial aid options.

The American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) also offers nurse anesthesia grants and scholarships to students who qualify.

How much does CRNA school cost?

The costs of CRNA school depends on a wide range of factors, including whether you plan to attend an in-state or out-of-state institution or plan to attend a private or public school.

For example, Georgetown University, a private institution, costs $140,693 for the first year, $86,361 for the second year and $75,884 for the third year. On the other hand, the full cost to attend the University of Iowa is $85,553 for three years as an in-state resident or $159,206 as an out-of-state resident.

How much do CRNAs typically make?

As a nurse anesthetist, you can expect to make a median salary of $214,200 per year or $102.98 per hour, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.


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Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third-party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.

Tax Information: This article provides general background information only and is not intended to serve as legal or tax advice or as a substitute for legal counsel. You should consult your own attorney and/or tax advisor if you have a question requiring legal or tax advice.

Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands, products, or companies mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.

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What Is a Billing Cycle for a Credit Card?

What Is a Credit Card Billing Cycle?

You can count on your credit bill arriving every month, thanks to your billing cycle, or the length of time between one statement’s closing date and the next. But how does a billing cycle for a credit card work and does it impact your credit score? Many of us aren’t exactly sure, even if we regularly swipe and tap our cards in daily life.

Understanding the ins and outs of a credit card billing cycle can help you manage your money, make sure you have enough set aside to pay your bills, and avoid unnecessary fees.

Definition of a Billing Cycle

A billing cycle on a credit card is the length of time from one billing statement closing date to the next. The exact number of days in a billing cycle may vary, but they usually last from 28 to 31 days.

Credit cards usually have monthly billing cycles and require cardholders to make payments every month. Billing periods must end on the same day of every month, such as on the last calendar day.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau states that each billing cycle should be equal. “Equal” in this case means each billing period must not vary more than four days from its usual length. So your credit card bill has a rhythm to it; you can depend upon it being ready at pretty much the same time (give or take a few days) every month. That way you can plan ahead to have enough money in your checking account to cover it.

How Does a Credit Card Billing Cycle Work?

Credit card billing cycles coincide with a certain day of the month. During each billing cycle, new transactions are added to your billing statement. Your swipes, taps, online purchases, and credits are all being tracked and compiled.

Then, at the end of the billing cycle, the card issuer will send you a credit card statement, either electronically or by mail. Whether you receive a paper or electronic statement depends upon whether you opt into paperless billing. It’s important to note the due date and make a payment of at least the minimum amount due by that date to avoid incurring late fees on top of those typically high credit card interest rates.

Fortunately, credit card billing cycles often come with a grace period, which is a time between the end of the billing period and the due date. You won’t be charged interest during this time. By law, credit card companies must deliver your statement to you at least 21 days before the payment due date.

If your credit card is paid in full between the time you receive your statement and the due date, no interest will be charged. However, if there is still a remaining balance after the due date, interest may start to accrue.

How Long Is a Billing Cycle?

The length of a credit card billing cycle can vary, but the length is usually between 28 and 31 days, just like the months of the year.

Credit card billing cycles must be as close to the same length as possible from one month to the next. But they can vary by up to four days to take into account things like weekends, holidays, and months that are different lengths.

Check your statement to find out the exact length of each billing cycle. The first page of the statement usually shows such information as opening and closing date. All of the transactions on the statement fall within that date range.

Can I Change My Billing Cycle?

Your card issuer probably won’t allow you to change some things related to your billing cycle, such as the billing period length. However, one of the things you may be able to change is the date when your credit card payment is due. You may find that helpful because a different due date might suit your situation better.

For instance, you might be able to sync up your payment due date to fall after you get paid, so you know there’s money in your bank account.

Keep in mind that not all card issuers will be flexible with this, and many will only allow you to change your due date within a certain time frame. And if you do request a due date change, it may take one to two billing cycles to take effect. Hence, you should monitor your statement to watch for the change.

Also, note that your card issuer has the right to change the terms and conditions of your credit card agreement at any time. However, if they do so, they generally must notify you 45 days in advance.

How Does A Billing Cycle Affect Your Credit Score?

Your credit card billing cycle can impact your credit score if you aren’t able to pay at least the minimum due on time. Most credit card issuers send monthly updates to credit reporting bureaus about your credit usage. The three main credit reporting bureaus are Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. These updates usually coincide with your billing cycle date.

On your billing cycle date, reporting bureaus may receive information about your credit usage, including any instances of late payments on your credit cards. Late payments can have a negative impact on your credit score, so be sure you are aware of the due date on your statement at the end of your billing cycle.

It’s also important to be aware that paying your bills on time, all the time, can be one potential way to help build your credit.

Why Understanding Your Billing Cycle Is Important

Understanding your billing cycle and how it works is key to your financial health. Here’s why:

•   Your billing cycle lets you know when your next payment is due and the minimum amount due. Paying the minimum can help you avoid penalties and possible hits to your credit score. Paying the full amount due will avoid accruing interest.

•   Understanding your billing cycle may help you budget more effectively. Because you know when you have to pay your credit card bill, you can set money aside to make your payments on time. You can request your due date be moved a bit to better suit your cash flow, if needed.

•   It will help you monitor your credit card balance more efficiently. That purchase you made today might not appear on the last statement issued, but it will appear on the next one. You may use your cycle’s timing to schedule purchases for the optimal time in terms of keeping your balance due in check.

The Takeaway

Your credit card billing cycle is the period of time between one billing statement’s closing date to the next. This period usually lasts between 28 and 31 days and should be as close as possible to the same length every month. Be sure to pay at least the minimum by the due date to avoid penalties and fees as well as possibly hurting your credit score.

You can request that your due date be moved, if that would help you better manage your budget, and you will likely have a few days’ grace period in which to pay your bill without getting hit with additional charges. Given how high credit card interest rates can be, knowing and following your billing cycle is an important part of being financially responsible.

Another way to help reach your financial goals is to make sure you have enough money in savings. And choosing the right savings vehicle can potentially help your money grow. You may want to explore such options as a high-yield savings account, for instance. Paying your bills and saving for the future are important tools for securing your financial future.

Interested in opening an online bank account? When you sign up for a SoFi Checking and Savings account with direct deposit, you’ll get a competitive annual percentage yield (APY), pay zero account fees, and enjoy an array of rewards, such as access to the Allpoint Network of 55,000+ fee-free ATMs globally. Qualifying accounts can even access their paycheck up to two days early.

Better banking is here with SoFi, NerdWallet’s 2024 winner for Best Checking Account Overall.* Enjoy up to 4.60% APY on SoFi Checking and Savings.

FAQ

Why is a billing cycle important?

A billing cycle is important because it keeps you informed of your credit card activity for the month. Plus, your payment is due at the end of each cycle (after the grace period), and you want to respect that to avoid accruing additional interest and fees.

How long is a billing cycle for a debit card?

Your checking account or debit card may issue regular statements, and the billing cycle length is approximately 30 days. In other words, the length is similar to your credit card billing cycle, but with a debit card, the funds are automatically deducted from your bank account. You don’t get a bill to pay.

What is two-cycle billing?

Two-cycle billing or double-cycle billing is a credit interest calculation. The interest is applied to the average of the prior two months’ outstanding balance. However, the practice was outlawed with the passing of the Credit CARD Act of 2009.


Photo credit: iStock/RichVintage

Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands, products, or companies mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

SoFi® Checking and Savings is offered through SoFi Bank, N.A. ©2023 SoFi Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.
The SoFi Bank Debit Mastercard® is issued by SoFi Bank, N.A., pursuant to license by Mastercard International Incorporated and can be used everywhere Mastercard is accepted. Mastercard is a registered trademark, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated.


4.60% APY
SoFi members with direct deposit activity can earn 4.60% annual percentage yield (APY) on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances. Direct Deposit means a recurring deposit of regular income to an account holder’s SoFi Checking or Savings account, including payroll, pension, or government benefit payments (e.g., Social Security), made by the account holder’s employer, payroll or benefits provider or government agency (“Direct Deposit”) via the Automated Clearing House (“ACH”) Network during a 30-day Evaluation Period (as defined below). Deposits that are not from an employer or government agency, including but not limited to check deposits, peer-to-peer transfers (e.g., transfers from PayPal, Venmo, etc.), merchant transactions (e.g., transactions from PayPal, Stripe, Square, etc.), and bank ACH funds transfers and wire transfers from external accounts, or are non-recurring in nature (e.g., IRS tax refunds), do not constitute Direct Deposit activity. There is no minimum Direct Deposit amount required to qualify for the stated interest rate.

As an alternative to direct deposit, SoFi members with Qualifying Deposits can earn 4.60% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances. Qualifying Deposits means one or more deposits that, in the aggregate, are equal to or greater than $5,000 to an account holder’s SoFi Checking and Savings account (“Qualifying Deposits”) during a 30-day Evaluation Period (as defined below). Qualifying Deposits only include those deposits from the following eligible sources: (i) ACH transfers, (ii) inbound wire transfers, (iii) peer-to-peer transfers (i.e., external transfers from PayPal, Venmo, etc. and internal peer-to-peer transfers from a SoFi account belonging to another account holder), (iv) check deposits, (v) instant funding to your SoFi Bank Debit Card, (vi) push payments to your SoFi Bank Debit Card, and (vii) cash deposits. Qualifying Deposits do not include: (i) transfers between an account holder’s Checking account, Savings account, and/or Vaults; (ii) interest payments; (iii) bonuses issued by SoFi Bank or its affiliates; or (iv) credits, reversals, and refunds from SoFi Bank, N.A. (“SoFi Bank”) or from a merchant.

SoFi Bank shall, in its sole discretion, assess each account holder’s Direct Deposit activity and Qualifying Deposits throughout each 30-Day Evaluation Period to determine the applicability of rates and may request additional documentation for verification of eligibility. The 30-Day Evaluation Period refers to the “Start Date” and “End Date” set forth on the APY Details page of your account, which comprises a period of 30 calendar days (the “30-Day Evaluation Period”). You can access the APY Details page at any time by logging into your SoFi account on the SoFi mobile app or SoFi website and selecting either (i) Banking > Savings > Current APY or (ii) Banking > Checking > Current APY. Upon receiving a Direct Deposit or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits to your account, you will begin earning 4.60% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% on checking balances on or before the following calendar day. You will continue to earn these APYs for (i) the remainder of the current 30-Day Evaluation Period and through the end of the subsequent 30-Day Evaluation Period and (ii) any following 30-day Evaluation Periods during which SoFi Bank determines you to have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits without interruption.

SoFi Bank reserves the right to grant a grace period to account holders following a change in Direct Deposit activity or Qualifying Deposits activity before adjusting rates. If SoFi Bank grants you a grace period, the dates for such grace period will be reflected on the APY Details page of your account. If SoFi Bank determines that you did not have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits during the current 30-day Evaluation Period and, if applicable, the grace period, then you will begin earning the rates earned by account holders without either Direct Deposit or Qualifying Deposits until you have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits in a subsequent 30-Day Evaluation Period. For the avoidance of doubt, an account holder with both Direct Deposit activity and Qualifying Deposits will earn the rates earned by account holders with Direct Deposit.

Members without either Direct Deposit activity or Qualifying Deposits, as determined by SoFi Bank, during a 30-Day Evaluation Period and, if applicable, the grace period, will earn 1.20% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances.

Interest rates are variable and subject to change at any time. These rates are current as of 10/24/2023. There is no minimum balance requirement. Additional information can be found at https://www.sofi.com/legal/banking-rate-sheet.


*Awards or rankings from NerdWallet are not indicative of future success or results. This award and its ratings are independently determined and awarded by their respective publications.

Disclaimer: Many factors affect your credit scores and the interest rates you may receive. SoFi is not a Credit Repair Organization as defined under federal or state law, including the Credit Repair Organizations Act. SoFi does not provide “credit repair” services or advice or assistance regarding “rebuilding” or “improving” your credit record, credit history, or credit rating. For details, see the FTC’s website .

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What Is an ACH Routing Number? And Where Can I Find It?

Guide to ACH Routing Numbers

An ACH routing number is a nine-digit code that identifies a financial institution during an electronic financial transaction. It ensures that money transferred using the ACH (Automated Clearing House) network is taken from and sent to the right place. ACH transfers are usually faster than paper checks and are used for various transactions like autopay and direct deposits.

Since ACH routing numbers play a vital role in everyday banking, let’s take a closer look.

What Is an ACH Routing Number?

An ACH routing number is essentially a digital address for your bank. It’s used specifically for transfers made using the Automated Clearing House (ACH) network, a system that facilitates electronic payments and direct deposits between financial institutions in the U.S.

Smaller banks and credit unions may have only one ACH routing number, while big banks may use several different ACH routing numbers based on region.

You’ll need your bank’s ACH routing number for a number of financial transactions. This includes setting up direct deposit at work, getting a tax refund directly deposited into your bank account, authorizing a one-time online payment, setting up autopay, and using a P2P payment app.

To set up an ACH transaction, you also need to provide your account number, which (unlike an ACH number) is unique to you. Your account number identifies the specific account, such as a traditional or online checking account, within the bank you want to use for the ACH credit or debit.

Get up to $300 when you bank with SoFi.

Open a SoFi Checking and Savings Account with direct deposit and get up to a $300 cash bonus. Plus, get up to 4.60% APY on your cash!


How Do I Find My ACH Routing Number?

Let’s say you want to sign up to pay your homeowner’s insurance automatically every month or you need to enroll in a P2P app to send someone money. To find your bank’s ACH routing number, you have a few options.

Using Your Checkbook

If you have paper checks, you can find your routing number by looking at the string of numbers printed along the bottom of a check. Your bank’s routing number is the first set of nine digits on the bottom left. It is usually followed by your account number and then the check number.

blank check with ach routing number

Using Your Online or Mobile Bank Account

Another way to get your ACH routing number is to go to your bank’s website and sign into your account. Methods vary by bank but, typically, here’s how you do it: Click on the last four digits of your account number (which appears above your account information) and choose “see full account number” next to your account name. A box will then open to display your bank account number and routing number.

You can also find your ACH routing number by signing into your bank’s mobile app. Typically, you just need to choose your account title and then tap “show details,” and your bank account and routing number will appear.

Using the Internet

If you don’t have access to online banking, you can also find your ACH routing number by going to your bank’s official website. You can then use the search function to look for “ACH routing number” or check the “Help” or “FAQ” sections.

Another option is to do a simple internet search. Put “ACH number” and the name of your bank into a search engine and you should be able to find it. Keep in mind that some large banks may have multiple regional ACH numbers. You want to make sure you are getting the one associated with your location.

Contacting Customer Service

If you can’t get online, you can always contact your bank’s customer service department by phone. They can provide you with the correct ACH routing number.

What Are ACH Routing Numbers Used For?

ACH routing numbers serve several essential functions in the banking system. Here are some of the main uses for ACH routing numbers:

•   Direct deposit Employers use ACH routing numbers to deposit salaries directly into employees’ bank accounts. This method is fast, secure, and convenient for both employers and employees.

•   Bill payments Many people use ACH routing numbers to pay bills electronically. This includes payments for utilities, mortgages, and other recurring expenses.

•   Tax refunds The IRS and state tax agencies use ACH routing numbers to deposit tax refunds directly into taxpayers’ bank accounts.

•   Transfers between accounts ACH routing numbers are used to transfer money between different bank accounts, whether within the same bank or between different banks. This is common for personal transactions, such as moving funds from a checking account to a savings account.

ACH vs ABA Routing Numbers: The Differences

An ABA (American Bankers Association) routing number is similar to an ACH routing number in that it identifies your bank. However, these numbers are used in different contexts.

ACH routing numbers are specifically used for electronic transactions processed through the Automated Clearing House network. This includes direct deposits, bill payments, and other electronic funds transfers. ABA routing numbers (also known as check routing numbers) are used for processing paper checks and for wire transfers. ABA and ACH simply refer to the method in which the money is moved.

These days, the same nine-digit number can serve as both an ACH routing number and an ABA routing number, which means that the ABA and ACH routing number for your bank is likely the same. If that’s the case, your bank will simply refer to its ABA/ACH routing number simply as its “routing number.”

Some banks, however, may provide separate ACH numbers (for electronic transfers) and ABA numbers (for checks and wire transfers).

ACH vs ABA Routing Numbers: History

ABA numbers were created in 1910 by the American Bankers Association (ABA) to help facilitate the sorting, bundling, and shipping of paper checks. They are still used for the processing of paper checks (and also for wire transfers).

More than a half century later, in the late 1960s, a group of California banks banded together to find a speedier alternative to check payments. They launched the first ACH in the U.S. in 1972; that was a key milestone in the evolution of electronic banking.

ACH vs ABA Routing Number: Numerical Differences

In the past, ABA and ACH numbers were slightly different, specifically the first two digits. Today, though, they are typically identical. Your bank’s ABA routing number and ACH routing number are likely to be one and the same. The reason is that both ABA and ACH numbers are used for the same purpose — transferring funds to the correct destination.

The Takeaway

An ACH routing number is a nine-digit code that identifies a bank during an electronic financial transaction. The ACH system has been used for decades and makes life easier by keeping transactions quick and secure. While ACH numbers used to be different from ABA routing codes, today these two numbers are typically the same.

Whether you are setting up direct deposits, paying bills, or transferring money between accounts, it’s essential to know your bank’s ACH routing number. You can find it by looking at your checks, logging into your account, or doing a simple online search. It’s that easy.

Interested in opening an online bank account? When you sign up for a SoFi Checking and Savings account with direct deposit, you’ll get a competitive annual percentage yield (APY), pay zero account fees, and enjoy an array of rewards, such as access to the Allpoint Network of 55,000+ fee-free ATMs globally. Qualifying accounts can even access their paycheck up to two days early.


Better banking is here with SoFi, NerdWallet’s 2024 winner for Best Checking Account Overall.* Enjoy up to 4.60% APY on SoFi Checking and Savings.

FAQ

Is the routing number different for ACH and wire transfers?

In some cases, the routing number for ACH transactions may be different from the routing number used for wire transfers. ACH routing numbers are used for electronic transactions processed through the Automated Clearing House network, such as direct deposits and bill payments.

Wire transfers, which are often faster and more direct, require an ABA or wire transfer routing number. It’s a good idea to confirm with your bank to ensure you use the correct routing number for the type of transaction you are making.

Do all banks have an ACH routing number?

All banks and credit unions that process ACH transactions have an ACH routing number. This nine-digit number is your bank’s digital address, and is essential for facilitating electronic transactions such as direct deposits and bill payments. Each financial institution has its own specific ACH routing number to ensure that transactions are routed correctly.

Is your ACH number your account number?

No, your ACH routing number is not the same as your account number. The ACH routing number is a nine-digit code that identifies your bank or financial institution. Your account number, on the other hand, is a unique identifier for your specific bank account within that institution.

Both numbers are required for electronic transactions, but they serve different purposes. The routing number directs the transaction to the correct bank, while the account number specifies the particular account to be credited or debited within that bank.


Photo credit: iStock/fizkes

SoFi members with direct deposit activity can earn 4.60% annual percentage yield (APY) on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances. Direct Deposit means a recurring deposit of regular income to an account holder’s SoFi Checking or Savings account, including payroll, pension, or government benefit payments (e.g., Social Security), made by the account holder’s employer, payroll or benefits provider or government agency (“Direct Deposit”) via the Automated Clearing House (“ACH”) Network during a 30-day Evaluation Period (as defined below). Deposits that are not from an employer or government agency, including but not limited to check deposits, peer-to-peer transfers (e.g., transfers from PayPal, Venmo, etc.), merchant transactions (e.g., transactions from PayPal, Stripe, Square, etc.), and bank ACH funds transfers and wire transfers from external accounts, or are non-recurring in nature (e.g., IRS tax refunds), do not constitute Direct Deposit activity. There is no minimum Direct Deposit amount required to qualify for the stated interest rate.

As an alternative to direct deposit, SoFi members with Qualifying Deposits can earn 4.60% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances. Qualifying Deposits means one or more deposits that, in the aggregate, are equal to or greater than $5,000 to an account holder’s SoFi Checking and Savings account (“Qualifying Deposits”) during a 30-day Evaluation Period (as defined below). Qualifying Deposits only include those deposits from the following eligible sources: (i) ACH transfers, (ii) inbound wire transfers, (iii) peer-to-peer transfers (i.e., external transfers from PayPal, Venmo, etc. and internal peer-to-peer transfers from a SoFi account belonging to another account holder), (iv) check deposits, (v) instant funding to your SoFi Bank Debit Card, (vi) push payments to your SoFi Bank Debit Card, and (vii) cash deposits. Qualifying Deposits do not include: (i) transfers between an account holder’s Checking account, Savings account, and/or Vaults; (ii) interest payments; (iii) bonuses issued by SoFi Bank or its affiliates; or (iv) credits, reversals, and refunds from SoFi Bank, N.A. (“SoFi Bank”) or from a merchant.

SoFi Bank shall, in its sole discretion, assess each account holder’s Direct Deposit activity and Qualifying Deposits throughout each 30-Day Evaluation Period to determine the applicability of rates and may request additional documentation for verification of eligibility. The 30-Day Evaluation Period refers to the “Start Date” and “End Date” set forth on the APY Details page of your account, which comprises a period of 30 calendar days (the “30-Day Evaluation Period”). You can access the APY Details page at any time by logging into your SoFi account on the SoFi mobile app or SoFi website and selecting either (i) Banking > Savings > Current APY or (ii) Banking > Checking > Current APY. Upon receiving a Direct Deposit or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits to your account, you will begin earning 4.60% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% on checking balances on or before the following calendar day. You will continue to earn these APYs for (i) the remainder of the current 30-Day Evaluation Period and through the end of the subsequent 30-Day Evaluation Period and (ii) any following 30-day Evaluation Periods during which SoFi Bank determines you to have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits without interruption.

SoFi Bank reserves the right to grant a grace period to account holders following a change in Direct Deposit activity or Qualifying Deposits activity before adjusting rates. If SoFi Bank grants you a grace period, the dates for such grace period will be reflected on the APY Details page of your account. If SoFi Bank determines that you did not have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits during the current 30-day Evaluation Period and, if applicable, the grace period, then you will begin earning the rates earned by account holders without either Direct Deposit or Qualifying Deposits until you have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits in a subsequent 30-Day Evaluation Period. For the avoidance of doubt, an account holder with both Direct Deposit activity and Qualifying Deposits will earn the rates earned by account holders with Direct Deposit.

Members without either Direct Deposit activity or Qualifying Deposits, as determined by SoFi Bank, during a 30-Day Evaluation Period and, if applicable, the grace period, will earn 1.20% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances.

Interest rates are variable and subject to change at any time. These rates are current as of 10/24/2023. There is no minimum balance requirement. Additional information can be found at https://www.sofi.com/legal/banking-rate-sheet.


SoFi® Checking and Savings is offered through SoFi Bank, N.A. ©2023 SoFi Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.
The SoFi Bank Debit Mastercard® is issued by SoFi Bank, N.A., pursuant to license by Mastercard International Incorporated and can be used everywhere Mastercard is accepted. Mastercard is a registered trademark, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated.


Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

Tax Information: This article provides general background information only and is not intended to serve as legal or tax advice or as a substitute for legal counsel. You should consult your own attorney and/or tax advisor if you have a question requiring legal or tax advice.

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How to Stop or Reverse ACH Payments: All You Need to Know

All About Retail Banking: What It Is and How It Works

Retail banking involves offering financial services to individual consumers rather than businesses or other banks. It encompasses a range of products and services, such as checking and savings accounts, mortgages, personal loans, credit cards, certificates of deposit (CDs), and more.

Retail banking is different from corporate banking, which is the part of the banking industry that serves large companies and corporate customers. Retail banks can be local community banks, online banks, or the divisions of large commercial banks. Credit unions also offer retail banking.

Read on for a closer look at what retail banking is and how it differs from corporate banking.

What Is Retail Banking?

Retail banking, also known as personal or consumer banking, refers to financial services provided to individuals. This type of banking is designed to serve the general public and to help people and families manage their money, obtain credit, and save for the future.

Retail banks focus on making banking services easily accessible, either through physical branches, ATMs, and/or online platforms. These banks play a crucial role in the economy by offering checking accounts, high-yield savings accounts, certificates of deposit, loans, and other financial products that help individuals safely store, manage, and grow their money.

Though some retail banks also work with small businesses, retail banking is different from corporate (also known as commercial) banking, which involves working with commercial entities, such as large businesses, governments, and institutions.

Most large-scale banks have retail banking divisions. Credit unions and smaller banks, on the other hand, may be exclusively focused on retail banking.

Recommended: 12 Things To Consider When Choosing A Bank

Get up to $300 when you bank with SoFi.

Open a SoFi Checking and Savings Account with direct deposit and get up to a $300 cash bonus. Plus, get up to 4.60% APY on your cash!


How Does Retail Banking Work?

Retail banking works by offering financial products and services tailored to consumers. These services are designed to help individuals and families manage their finances efficiently, save for the future, and access credit cards and loans. Retail banks make money primarily through interest on loans, fees for services, and charges for various banking products.

Features of Retail Banking

Retail banking offers a hub for all of your basic financial transactions. Here’s a look at some of the products and services they provide.

•   Savings and checking accounts: Retail banks offer savings and checking accounts to help individuals manage their money. Savings accounts typically earn interest, while checking accounts provide easy access to funds for day-to-day transactions.

•   Consumer loans: Retail banks commonly offer personal loans, auto loans, and home mortgages. These loans can help people finance significant purchases or investments, such as buying a home or car.

•   Credit Cards: Retail banks issue credit cards that allow consumers to borrow money up to a certain limit for purchases. These cards often come with rewards, cash back, and other incentives.

•   Online and mobile banking: Retail banks typically provide online and mobile banking services, allowing you to manage your accounts, transfer money, pay bills, and access other banking services from your computer or smartphone.

•   Investment services: Some retail banks offer investment products like mutual funds, retirement accounts, and brokerage services to help customers build wealth over time.

•   Customer service: Retail banks typically emphasize customer service. Many provide personalized financial assistance through branch staff, call centers, and online support.

Types of Retail Banks

Retail banks come in various forms, each catering to different customer needs and preferences. Here’s a look at some of the main types of retail banks.

•   Commercial banks: Many people access retail banking through one of the large, commercial banks, which generally offer a retail banking division along with corporate banking services.

•   Credit unions: Credit unions are nonprofit financial institutions owned by their members. They often provide similar services to commercial banks but with a focus on serving the financial needs of their members, usually offering lower fees and better interest rates.

•   Online banks: Online banks operate exclusively online, without physical branches, though you typically have access to a partner network of ATMs. They often offer higher interest rates on savings accounts and lower fees due to reduced overhead costs.

•   Community Banks: Community banks are smaller, locally-focused institutions that prioritize serving the needs of their local communities. They offer personalized customer service and often have a strong understanding of their local markets.

Recommended: Big Banks vs Small Banks: Key Differences?

How Is Retail Banking Different From Corporate Banking?

Retail banking and corporate banking represent two different sectors of the banking industry, each serving different customer bases and offering different services.

Retail banking focuses on individual consumers, providing them with products like bank accounts, personal loans, and credit cards. Corporate banking, on the other hand, serves businesses and corporations, offering services like business bank accounts, commercial loans, trade finance, and employer services.

Transactions in retail banking are typically smaller in size and higher in volume compared to corporate banking, which tends to focus on larger, more complex transactions.

If you’re wondering whether you would be better served by retail vs. corporate banking, here’s a snapshot how the two compare.

Retail Banking Corporate Banking
Client base Individual consumers Businesses, institutions, banks, government entities
Products and services Personal checking/savings accounts, mortgages, personal loans, credit cards Business checking/saving accounts, business loans, merchant services, global trade services, employee benefits plans
Loan amounts Lower Higher
Transaction frequency and amounts High number of transactions for low amounts Low volume of transactions for more significant amounts

The Takeaway

Retail banking is the public face of banking that provides banking services directly to individual consumers rather than businesses or other banks. Most of us bank at a retail bank or retail division of a large commercial bank whether we realize it or not.

Whether you use a brick-and-mortar bank, online bank, or credit union, retail banking offers products and services that allow you to manage your money, access credit, save for the future, and work toward your financial goals.

Interested in opening an online bank account? When you sign up for a SoFi Checking and Savings account with direct deposit, you’ll get a competitive annual percentage yield (APY), pay zero account fees, and enjoy an array of rewards, such as access to the Allpoint Network of 55,000+ fee-free ATMs globally. Qualifying accounts can even access their paycheck up to two days early.


Better banking is here with SoFi, NerdWallet’s 2024 winner for Best Checking Account Overall.* Enjoy up to 4.60% APY on SoFi Checking and Savings.

FAQ

What is an example of retail banking?

An example of retail banking, also known as consumer banking, is when an individual opens a savings account at a local bank. The bank then allows them to deposit funds, withdraw money, and earn interest on their deposits. The same bank might also offer them a checking account for daily transactions, a mortgage to buy a home, and a credit card for everyday purchases. These services are all examples of retail banking, which is aimed at meeting the personal financial needs of individual consumers.

What are the largest retail banks?

The largest banks in the U.S. that offer retail banking include:

•   Chase

•   Bank of America

•   Wells Fargo

•   Citibank

•   U.S. Bank

•   PNC Bank

•   Goldman Sachs Bank

•   Truist Bank

•   Capital One

•   TD Bank

Who uses retail banking?

Retail banking is used by individual consumers to manage their personal finances. This includes:

•   Students

•   Young adults

•   Working professionals

•   Couples

•   Families

•   Retirees and seniors

•   Small business owners

What are the retail banking products?

Retail banking offers a variety of products and services tailored to the financial needs of individual consumers. These include:

•   Savings accounts

•   Checking accounts

•   Personal loans

•   Mortgages

•   Credit cards

•   Certificates of deposit (CDs)

•   Investment products

•   Online and mobile banking services

•   Debit cards


Photo credit: iStock/Passakorn Prothien

SoFi members with direct deposit activity can earn 4.60% annual percentage yield (APY) on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances. Direct Deposit means a recurring deposit of regular income to an account holder’s SoFi Checking or Savings account, including payroll, pension, or government benefit payments (e.g., Social Security), made by the account holder’s employer, payroll or benefits provider or government agency (“Direct Deposit”) via the Automated Clearing House (“ACH”) Network during a 30-day Evaluation Period (as defined below). Deposits that are not from an employer or government agency, including but not limited to check deposits, peer-to-peer transfers (e.g., transfers from PayPal, Venmo, etc.), merchant transactions (e.g., transactions from PayPal, Stripe, Square, etc.), and bank ACH funds transfers and wire transfers from external accounts, or are non-recurring in nature (e.g., IRS tax refunds), do not constitute Direct Deposit activity. There is no minimum Direct Deposit amount required to qualify for the stated interest rate.

As an alternative to direct deposit, SoFi members with Qualifying Deposits can earn 4.60% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances. Qualifying Deposits means one or more deposits that, in the aggregate, are equal to or greater than $5,000 to an account holder’s SoFi Checking and Savings account (“Qualifying Deposits”) during a 30-day Evaluation Period (as defined below). Qualifying Deposits only include those deposits from the following eligible sources: (i) ACH transfers, (ii) inbound wire transfers, (iii) peer-to-peer transfers (i.e., external transfers from PayPal, Venmo, etc. and internal peer-to-peer transfers from a SoFi account belonging to another account holder), (iv) check deposits, (v) instant funding to your SoFi Bank Debit Card, (vi) push payments to your SoFi Bank Debit Card, and (vii) cash deposits. Qualifying Deposits do not include: (i) transfers between an account holder’s Checking account, Savings account, and/or Vaults; (ii) interest payments; (iii) bonuses issued by SoFi Bank or its affiliates; or (iv) credits, reversals, and refunds from SoFi Bank, N.A. (“SoFi Bank”) or from a merchant.

SoFi Bank shall, in its sole discretion, assess each account holder’s Direct Deposit activity and Qualifying Deposits throughout each 30-Day Evaluation Period to determine the applicability of rates and may request additional documentation for verification of eligibility. The 30-Day Evaluation Period refers to the “Start Date” and “End Date” set forth on the APY Details page of your account, which comprises a period of 30 calendar days (the “30-Day Evaluation Period”). You can access the APY Details page at any time by logging into your SoFi account on the SoFi mobile app or SoFi website and selecting either (i) Banking > Savings > Current APY or (ii) Banking > Checking > Current APY. Upon receiving a Direct Deposit or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits to your account, you will begin earning 4.60% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% on checking balances on or before the following calendar day. You will continue to earn these APYs for (i) the remainder of the current 30-Day Evaluation Period and through the end of the subsequent 30-Day Evaluation Period and (ii) any following 30-day Evaluation Periods during which SoFi Bank determines you to have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits without interruption.

SoFi Bank reserves the right to grant a grace period to account holders following a change in Direct Deposit activity or Qualifying Deposits activity before adjusting rates. If SoFi Bank grants you a grace period, the dates for such grace period will be reflected on the APY Details page of your account. If SoFi Bank determines that you did not have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits during the current 30-day Evaluation Period and, if applicable, the grace period, then you will begin earning the rates earned by account holders without either Direct Deposit or Qualifying Deposits until you have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits in a subsequent 30-Day Evaluation Period. For the avoidance of doubt, an account holder with both Direct Deposit activity and Qualifying Deposits will earn the rates earned by account holders with Direct Deposit.

Members without either Direct Deposit activity or Qualifying Deposits, as determined by SoFi Bank, during a 30-Day Evaluation Period and, if applicable, the grace period, will earn 1.20% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances.

Interest rates are variable and subject to change at any time. These rates are current as of 10/24/2023. There is no minimum balance requirement. Additional information can be found at https://www.sofi.com/legal/banking-rate-sheet.


SoFi® Checking and Savings is offered through SoFi Bank, N.A. ©2023 SoFi Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.
The SoFi Bank Debit Mastercard® is issued by SoFi Bank, N.A., pursuant to license by Mastercard International Incorporated and can be used everywhere Mastercard is accepted. Mastercard is a registered trademark, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated.


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