The Whatcom Asset Building Coalition is a leading member of Bank On North Sound. Bank On is a group of key government agencies, community organizations, and financial institutions that work together to offer free or low-cost accounts to help you save money and get ahead. Any one of these accounts could keep you from losing your hard-earned money that you may otherwise spend on alternative financial products, such as, check cashing or payday lending that charge high fees and interest rates for using their services. With a bank account, it won’t cost you any money to cash your checks.
Human Service Agency Materials
To request materials for your agency, fill out the online form.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What if I’ve never had an account or had account problems in the past?
Whether you need a starter account or a second chance account, these partner banks and credit unions are ready to work with you.
2. What if I don’t have a Driver’s License or ID?
Many Bank On partners accept the Matricula Consular, Tribal ID cards, or ID cards/passports from other countries. All of them accept a US passport, driver’s license or state-issued ID.
3. Don’t I need a lot of money to open an account?
All of our partner banks and credit unions offer Bank On customers accounts with no or low ($5) minimum balance requirements.
4. Don’t I need to write a lot of checks to make it worthwhile?
No matter how few checks you write, having an account saves on check cashing fees. In fact, there are lots of ways to use your account that don’t involve checks at all.
5. How convenient is it to use a bank or credit union?
Many of these partners have branches across the state and usually one just around the corner from you. Debit cards, online banking by phone or computer, and shared ATM networks let you access and manage your account 24 hours a day
6. How do I qualify for a financial incentive?
In Whatcom County, Banner Bank offers a financial incentive for people who have completed an approved financial literacy class AND either have an existing account with Banner Bank or open an account with Banner Bank. The Whatcom Dream and F.L.A.R.E. are the only approved financial literacy classes in Whatcom County. Click here for upcoming class dates and descriptions. Contact the instructors for registration information. For more information about the financial incentive, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How to open an account
1. Find a participating bank or credit union.
You can visit the website for Bank On North Sound to use the locator tool, or see account matrix below in order to choose the account that will work best for you.
2. Gather what you need to open your account.
- A photo ID such as a US driver’s license or Matricula Consular card.
- Proof of address such as a utility or cell phone bill.
- Social security or taxpayer ID number.
- Cash or check for your first deposit.
A specialist will walk you through the entire process and answer your questions. You don’t need an appointment, but don’t forget your materials!
*Classes in Whatcom County that qualify for the financial incentive are FLARE, Whatcom Dream, Financial Empowerment for Survivors of Domestic Violence, and Love INC’s Budget Bootcamp. To learn more about these classes and see when they are offered, go to Financial Education Calendar.
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Seven good reasons to open a bank account:
- It’s convenient.
- It won’t cost you any money to cash your checks. You can stop using check cashers.
- You can write checks to pay your bills. No need to buy money orders.
- You can’t lose money or have it stolen while it’s in the account. The federal government guarantees your money.
- You can take advantage of other services: direct deposit, online banking, automatic bill pay, and money transfers to family and friends.
- If you have money in your account, you can use a debit card to get cash whenever you need to.
- You can earn interest on money in your savings account.