Opening a Bank Account


The information on this page is intended as a resource for international students who attend South Seattle College.

To get an ATM/Debit card and a checkbook, you will need to open a checking account at a bank. ATM/debit (VISA or MasterCard) can be used on any ATM machine, and anywhere that accepts VISA/MASTERCARD. Many stores require identification with current address information when writing a check, for example, a passport, Washington Driver’s License or Washington State ID Card.

  • ATM/Debit card is different from a Credit Card. It takes money out of your bank account when you use it. Make sure you have enough money in your account to cover your expenses. If you over withdraw you might get a fine.
  • ATM usually charge $2.00 per transaction and your bank might charge $2.00 if you use a non-branch ATM. Watch for these fees and keep track of money in your account.
  • Never tell anyone your PIN# (Personal Identification Number). The account can be used with this information.
  • Never write a check without having money in your account. If you do there are a large fine from the store and the bank.
  • Never sign an empty check.

There are several banks around South Seattle College.

Bank of America

2600 SW Barton Street

Seattle, WA 98106


Key Bank

9655 17th Avenue SW

Seattle, WA 98106


Chase Bank

1616 SW 100th Street

Seattle, WA 98146


US Bank

15820 Ambaum Boulevard SW

Burien, WA 98166


Wells Fargo

800 SW 152nd Street

Burien, WA 98166


BECU Credit Union

9620 28th Avenue SW

Seattle, WA 98126


Documents required to open a bank account:

  • Passport
  • Visa
  • I-20
  • Proof of Entry (I-94 card or Stamp)

Questions to ask when opening a bank account:

  • Is there a minimum starting deposit?
  • Is there a minimum account balance required?
  • Is there a charge when receiving an international wire transfer?
  • Is there a charge when sending a wire transfer?
  • Is there a bank close to my house or easy to get to?
  • Is there a fee to use the ATM?