Banks, Credit Cards and Credit Scores
To first open a bank account in the US you will need the following as a minimum;
* a US home address
* employment verification in the US
* a Social Security Number.
Once you have these you can visit a branch or Apply Online for a checking account. A checking account will allow your employer to pay your salary direct into your account and the bank will issue you with a checkbook and an ATM card.
ATM cards (or debit cards) can be used, not only to get cash from ATM machines, but also to pay for things in many places such as grocery stores and gas stations. They are used in much the same way as a credit card but the amount is debited directly from your account.
Many US banks have a charging scheme that has been under much scrutiny recently. Checking accounts often have a monthly charge associated with them just for maintaining the account. Some banks offer free checking if you satisfy certain conditions such as maintaining a minimum balance. The use of an ATM machine can incur two charges, one from the bank who owns the machine and another from your own bank
Credit Rating and Score