Banking information needed.

Mar 31st, 2008, 11:10 PM
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Banking information needed.

DD and SIL are moving to the US from NZ end of May. They want to transfer some money from NZ to the US before they leave The rate is dropping. Obviously they need a US bank account to do this. Can they do this while they are still living in NZ?

I have read two conflicting articles on the internet, one says you need a Social Security number to open an account, the other said you only need a SSN if you're wanting a credit card.

If they waited until they got to the US to open an account how long would it take for them to open a checking account for example?

Finally any bank recommendations, ie low fees etc.

Thanks for your input
nelsonian is online now  
Mar 31st, 2008, 11:23 PM
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Hello Nelsonian, I am not an expert but I do know that if one wants to open a bank account, even a simple checking account at at bank in the US, one needs either a social security number or a Tax ID number.

I have no idea if your DD and SIL can obtain a bank account in the US while they are still in NZ. But I would think they probably could not do so although I am not certain.

From what I know (having a son-in-law who came here from Rome) I believe that your daughter and son-in-law would need to go to the nearest social security office and obtain their SSN's..and they could than open up an account at the bank of their choice. As far as fees etc., they could talk to various banks and see which bank would suit their purposes.

LoveItaly is offline  
Apr 1st, 2008, 12:57 AM
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You do not need a SS# to open a bank account. The Patriot Act requires that the ID of the person opening the account be verified. This can be done with a passport. I know this only because a couple of years ago we had 2 foreign students on J1 visas who worked for us during the summer. They opened checking accounts so they could cash their pay checks, pay their bills, etc.

Your best bet would be to contact a bank in the area where they are moving.
here_today_gone2Maui is offline  
Apr 1st, 2008, 06:43 AM
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I agree with hgt2M's post.

And depending on the card, you don't even need a SSN for a credit card.

klam_chowder is offline  
Apr 1st, 2008, 07:39 AM
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Agree, no need for a SS#, just proper ID, which of course they'll have.

It would only take about 30 minutes to open a simple checking account in person, so I wouldn't stress about doing it in advance. However, you could check out Bank of America online and probably handle it all over the Internet--but be sure there is at least one BofA location in the city they're moving to, and a good array of BofA ATM's. (This is why it might be better to wait and see what's located conveniently for them.)
NewbE is offline  
Apr 1st, 2008, 10:40 AM
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For low fees - check with the bank if they have a minimum balance, the monthly fee depends on how much money you keep. Although some banks charge when you write too many checks.
FainaAgain is offline  
Apr 1st, 2008, 10:55 AM
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Thanks everyone. I will pass the information on.
nelsonian is online now  
Apr 1st, 2008, 11:10 AM
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If they are going to be transferring money from NZ by wire transfer regularly, they'd want a bank that does that without problems and the may not be the bank with the lowest fees. In NYC, Chase (JP Morgan Chase) is one bank that does int'l wire transfers. They should also find out if their local bank has any reciprocal agreements with any US banks or banks in the city where they'll be.
mclaurie is offline  
Apr 1st, 2008, 03:27 PM
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Another question, they are looking at rental accommodation in Ohio, and in every case the applicants must have an acceptable credit rating, which is perfectly understandable.

They defintely have excellent credit rating in NZ but what would they need to show a landlord in the US as proof of this.
nelsonian is online now  
Apr 1st, 2008, 07:11 PM
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If there's a credit rating system there, a copy of that.
mclaurie is offline  
Jun 21st, 2008, 05:12 PM
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Update. DD and SIL have been in Columbus Ohio now for 2 and a half weeks. They were able to open a bank account with a SSN (still waiting for that), they have their debit cards but can't get a credit card until their SSN comes through.

They also managed to rent a house no problem at all. They showed the landlord a letter from their previous landlord in NZ and a copy of their credit rating from NZ and that was about it.

DD is rapt, they have a three bedroom house with a backyard for
$ 1050.00 per month. In Wellington a similar place would be $ 1400 - $1500.

They lived in a converted garage in NZ with no backyard at all, (only paid $ 550.00 per month for it) so they are loving the space. Don't have any furniture but have bought a lot of music gear, and a van. Also managed to get some gigs, they are loving it so far.
nelsonian is online now  
Jun 22nd, 2008, 08:36 AM
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I don't know if there's an IKEA in Columbus, but it's a good choice for inexpensive but decent-looking furniture. The other thing they should try is Craigslist (people selling used stuff)
Jun 22nd, 2008, 08:54 AM
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You need a SS# to open a bank account - as well as to get a job - since that is how all income is reported to the government (ie interest on the bank account). Assume that they have the proper visas to move here and work - since without that you cannot get a job (except cash under the table - which is obviously illegal).
nytraveler is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2008, 11:55 AM
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Nytraveller you haven't read all the replies, they didn't need a SSN to open a bank account and they have a work visa!!!
nelsonian is online now  

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