Banking

A bank offers safety and convenience. Many banks provide services such as checking accounts, savings accounts, bank drafts, foreign currency exchange, money orders, traveler's check, wire-transfer and safe-deposit boxes for valuables.

It is recommended students open a bank account shortly after arriving in Seattle. To do so, students will need to bring their student identification card, passport and the funds they wish to deposit.

The banks listed below are located near our campus and are used to serving international students:

Bank of America
1300 E Madison St.
Seattle, WA 98122
(206) 358-2055

Key Bank
1224 Madison St
Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 447-5758

US Bank
135 Broadway E
Seattle, WA 98102
(206) 720-0615

Chase Bank
1429 Broadway
Seattle, WA 98122
(206) 461-7172

Wells Fargo
1317 Madison St.
Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 322-2671

 
Please note that banks in the United States have different policies on opening bank accounts for individuals under the age of 18. Many require that 16 or 17 year olds have an adult who can co-sign on a bank account before they are willing to open an account in a minor’s name. Others offer flexibility in allowing 16 or 17 year old students to have bank accounts.
 
At Seattle Central, we have found that most banks will not open a checking account for a student who is 16 years of age without an adult co-signer. Some branches of CHASE Bank will open a savings account for 16-year old students without a co-signer, with some restrictions on the withdrawal of funds. Other banks may have similar policies for 16-year old students. CHASE Bank will open a checking account for college students who are 17 year’s old without a co-signer.
 
Since banking can be challenging for under-age students, Seattle Central recommends the following:
 

- Parents who choose to accompany their under-age child to the United States should find time to open a bank account with them and co-sign on the account. Both the parent and student’s name will be on the account, which will make it easier for the student to obtain funds when she or he needs them.

- Parents should see what options there might be for international banks to open an account in the student’s home country that could be accessed in the United States. Many international banks have a presence in the United States (e.g., Citibank, HSBC,etc.).

- If 16 or 17-year old students plan to open an account on their own in the United States, they may need to check with different branches of different banks to find one who will assist them with an account. Although some branches of CHASE Bank have shown willingness to open an account for 16 and 17 year-old students, policies seem to vary from branch to branch.

Note on co-signing for an account: While some host families might be willing to co-sign on a student’s bank account, they have no obligation to take this role. Parents should also consider whether it is appropriate to have a host family co-signed on an account, where they would have equal access to a student’s funds. Neither Seattle Central College nor its employees can act as a co-signer on a student bank account.