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How to Choose and Use a Checking or Savings Product

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Whether you open a checking or savings account, it pays to be smart in how you choose and use the account. Here are some suggestions: 1. - Shop around for a good deal before you open an account. Banks usually offer several accounts to choose from with different features, fees, interest rates, opening balance requirements and so on. These accounts also may differ significantly from bank to bank. Some banks have special accounts for teens and even younger kids featuring parental controls on withdrawals. 2. - Keep your account records up to date. Record all transactions, deposits and withdrawals. 3. - Pay attention to your bank statements and immediately report any errors. If your account has a minimum balance requirement, avoid going below it. Your bank may charge you a fee, which would mean less money in your account. 4. - Use the account responsibly. Even a "free" checking account can involve some fees, such as when you use another bank's ATM to withdraw money, so do your best to keep costs down. Also, never share your account numbers, bank cards or passwords with friends or strangers—this could give them access to your money.