Banking in the U.S.
To open a checking account:
- Bring passport, I-20, and college ID
- Know your school address and telephone number
- Must have at least $50 to deposit
- Works like a credit card, but takes money directly from the bank account.
- Can be used in ATM machines but must use the ones approved by your bank.
- If you use one that isn't your own bank, there will be a fee (between $1.00 and $5.00 usually).
- Carefully keep track of your receipts so that you know how much is left in your account.
- You do NOT want to overdraw. You will be charged a fee each time you overdraw.
- If you have questions about savings accounts, please schedule an appointment with the ISO. Most college students prefer checking accounts.
- If your parents wire you money, an incoming wire generally costs $8.00.
- Outgoing wires generally cost $10.00, but can only be sent to U.S. accounts. You cannot send a wire internationally at very many banks in the area.
- Wires must be sent before 1:00 pm. Banks cannot take information after that time.
- For your to receive a wire, you must tell the bank the amount of money being sent and the account numbers and banking routing numbers of both the sending bank and the receiving bank.
Depositing Large Checks:
If you deposit a check for a large amount of money the bank will usually hold your check for five days. They will not let you spend that money for those five days until they are certain that the source of the money is safe. This is a precaution against fraud. During that time your bank account may appear to have a negative amount, but that is because they are holding your check. Your debit or check card may also not work at that time, so be sure to keep some money with you.
- Never tell anyone your pin number.
- Don't give your account numbers or pin over the phone, and be careful about giving the information on the Internet.
- If you want to make an internet purchase, be sure the site is trustworthy and reliable.
- If your debit/check/credit card is stolen, call the bank immediately and have the cards cancelled so that no one can run up bills on your account. Your bank will help you establish a new account number.
Social Security Numbers
As of October 13, 2004, F-1 students may only obtain a Social Security number if the student is working. This is a Social Security Administration regulation. For more information on F-1 students and Social Security numbers, please visit http://www.ssa.gov/pubs/10096.html.
An F-1 student must submit the following as part of the application process:
- Application for Social Security Card (available in the International Student Office at Union University)
- At least 2 documents that establish applicant's age and identity, including a passport and one additional document (i.e. Visa, etc.)
- I-94 Form stapeled in passport indicating entry date and validity until D/S (duration of status)
- Original and most current SEVIS I-20
- Proof of Employment: forms available through the International Student Office, to be filled out by a DSO and your employer
Once these documents have been gathered and completed, you can proceed to the Social Security Office where you will be issued a social security number and later receive a card in the mail.
The Social Security Office in Jackson is located at 415 CHEYENNE DR., JACKSON, TN 38305
The office is open MONDAY - FRIDAY: 08:30 AM - 03:30 PM (except holidays). The office can be reached by calling (731) 660-3384