How to Choose the Right Accounts for You

Let’s go through the steps to determine whether you’re looking (or have chosen!) the right bank account for you.

Step 1: Consider your personal needs. 

What types of accounts work best for you? You may like the ease of having a debit card but might not find much use for a savings account, which doesn’t offer much return on your investment. Make a list of the most important factors for you, even if they seem silly, like the availability of safe deposit boxes at your bank.

Step 2: Decide which accounts work best for those needs.

Find out what other services each bank offers and look into all the details. Every single one. Decide the types of accounts that will give you access to the right types of accounts for you. You might look for low-fee institutions that offer brick-and-mortar services, such as those you might find at a credit union. Or you might pursue an online bank with checkless banking options. 

Step 3: Look for low-fee institutions.

When you’re on the hunt for the right type of bank account for you, always consider the costs — in all senses of the word. Look at interest rates. Look at fees. In what ways do various banking institutions allow you to keep more of your money?

Step 4: Start an application. 

Once you’ve chosen the right account for you, you’ll need to show some specific ID requirements: 

  • At least two forms of government-issued photo identification, such as a valid driver’s license or passport
  • Social Security number or individual taxpayer identification number
  • Utility bill with current address information
  • Contact information
  • Minimum required deposit

Some banks may not allow you to open an account until you’re 18. Others may require a parent or guardian to help you open a student account. Check into these requirements.

Step 5: Choose your accounts and look at the details.

On your application, mark which accounts you’re interested in opening, whether you choose a checking account, savings account, or both.

Finally, acquaint yourself with your account once you’ve been approved and read over all the details. Get your debit card, checks and other extras that come with your account.

Also, don’t forget that you may have a few checks and direct deposits floating around. You don’t want to close your account right away — give yourself time to make sure everything transfers over. 

Choose the Right Account for Your Needs

If you’ve been with the same bank for dozens of years, does that make sense, given all the options available now? If you can tap into a higher-yield checking or savings account with no fees, why not consider it? 

Think outside the box as well. Who says you can’t have several accounts in order to give yourself the perfect combination of accounts that give you the best access to the best combination of accounts and rates for you? 

Finally, always, always read the fine print. It can make the difference between you making a mistake in choosing a bank account that fits you and one that really doesn’t fit your needs. 

Read more about all things money at UNest




College Savings Calculator is a hypothetical tool that demonstrates how monthly contributions, age-based asset rebalancing, and tax savings may impact the long-term value of your account, and do not take into account a portfolio’s underlying investment management fees. Calculations assume the private institution cost inflation is 2.8%, public out of state cost inflation is 3.9%, public in state cost inflation is 2.7%. Portfolio is assumed to have only stocks and bonds. Monthly equity returns are based on the historical data from the 10-year track record of the stock market (SPY). Monthly fixed income returns are based on the historical data from the 10-year track record of the bond market index (AGG). The current college expenses are provided by the Actual account performance may differ due to market fluctuations, changes in recurring investments, and asset allocation. The information provided here is for illustrative purposes only and does not represent actual or future performance of any investment option and is not intended to predict or project the investment performance of any security or index.

Ksenia Yudina, CFA, MBA

Founder and CEO

Ksenia is the Founder and CEO of U-Nest, the first mobile app that makes it easy for families to save for college. As an entrepreneur and finance professional, Ksenia has focused on alleviating the impact of student debt on families across the economic spectrum. Previously, Ksenia was a Vice President atCapital Group/American Funds, the largest 529 provider in the U.S. In this role, she played a leadership role in helping parents plan and manage their finances, with a focus on the future well-being of their children. Prior to Capital Group/American Funds, she was founder of a residential real estate company. Ksenia earned her bachelor’s degree in finance from CaliforniaState University Northridge, and an MBA from UCLA’s Anderson School of Management.

Mike Van Kempen

Chief Operating Officer

Mike joined U-Nest in September 2019 as COO. He was previously at Acorns, a financial wellness platform, where he spearheaded the analytics and growth initiatives. Mike successfully expandedAcorns’ paid acquisition strategy, adding over 4.5 million investment accounts. Mike began his career in strategy & analytics at Belly, a Chicago-based loyalty startup in 2012. At Belly, Mike led projects that fueled growth across all aspects of the business, growing the customer base from1,000 to over 11,000 merchants, and accumulating a membership of over 2 million customers.Mike holds a B.B.A. in Finance from Loyola University of Chicago.

Steve Buchanan

Chief Technology Officer

Steve has over 20 years of experience in delivering digital innovations in the financial sector. Steve previously orchestrated product architecture and innovation as a Solutions Architect/ Fintech consultant at Union Bank. Prior to Union Bank, he was Chief Architect and Director of Engineering at Calypso, a Silicon Valley startup, where he architected and built multiple financial solutions. He was also Head of Global Integrations at Globe One in Vietnam where he integrated its Peer-to-Peer lending products into core banking solutions. Steve also built the first ever electronic Equities &Equity Options trading systems for Scottish stock brokers Wood Mackenzie (acquired by CountyNatWest). He is a graduate of Edinburgh University.

Peter Mansfield

Chief Marketing Officer

Peter has built an impressive track record in multiple financial industry segments including payments, credit/prepaid cards and lending. He has played an instrumental role at a succession of financial industry leaders, co-founding companies such as Brand3 (acquired by American Express) and PropertyBridge (acquired by Moneygram), and, as the early stage marketing lead at Marqeta (where he was team member number two), BillFloat and WallabyFinancial (acquired by Bankrate).He has helped fast-growth companies reach an aggregate market value of close to $8 billion. Peter holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Angila, UK.

Sonya Kidman

Client Relationship Manager

Sonya Kidman is a Customer Success professional with a decade of experience in advocating for consumer through user research and genuine empathy. Sonya specializes in user behavior and regularly attends national and global training sessions in wellness and people analytics tools. Sonya is a true global citizen was born in Russia, grew up in Israel, lived and worked in Canada and NewZealand. That global expertise along with an undergraduate degree in Sociology from Tel AvivUniversity have helped to shape a bullet-prof Sonya's framework to develop a winning customer strategy.

Frank Mastrangelo

Board Member

One part banker and one part technologist, Frank spent his early days with the Annenberg Foundation and PNC Bank. His career path led him to Jefferson Bank, where he led the build-out of its electronic banking platforms, and where he would forge a powerful alliance with The Bancorp co-founder Betsy Z. Cohen. As President and COO of The Bancorp from its inception in 1999 Frank played a critical role in helping the organization become an industry bellwether for branchless financial services and a global leader in payments. For this, he has become a widely respected fintech expert, and thought-leader. Frank was recognized in 2013 by Banking Innovation, a leading industry journal, as an “Innovator to Watch.” and as one of the innovators shaping the future of banking. Frank is a graduate of West Chester University of Pennsylvania.