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There are many reasons why someone may want to open a secret bank account. One person might consider it in order to save money for the purchase of an engagement ring or an anniversary gift, while someone else might be concerned about his or her financial security when another account is shared with a partner. Whatever the reason, the goal is fairly easy to accomplish, but it will definitely take some work on your part. There are many Internet-based financial institutions and local banks that are suitable for setting up an account. To avoid having mail related to this clandestine account sent to your residence, you could have all correspondence sent to the home of a trusted relative. Otherwise, you should consider renting a post office box, where you can receive mail without having to worry about it.
Many financial institutions offer paperless banking options, which means that statements are sent to your email address — not delivered through the mail — as long as you enroll in the service. You can sign up for a secret bank account online, but it is usually not recommended, since many of them require you to link an active checking account to it, which can be counter-productive. Ideally, you should visit a financial institution in person when setting up your account. It is a good idea not to bank at a location where you currently have a joint account with someone else. An out-of-the-way bank is ideal to avoid seeing people you know during any visits.
When you decide on the bank you would like to use to open your secret bank account, you will need to provide certain information about yourself. In the U.S., it is common policy for a bank to request your Social Security Number (SSN), phone number, birth date, and other personal identifiers. You are also required to provide your physical address. For this reason, when you meet with the bank manager, make sure you tell him or her that you do not want any mail coming to your home.
Bank managers are usually very understanding and respectful of your desire for privacy. If you explain your situation, they can usually advise you about the best way to keep your account secure. You will, however, need to provide them with a mailing address, which can belong to a relative or close friend who has given you permission to use it. If it is your desire to keep the account secret from everyone, a post office box is generally your best option for receiving mail about your secret bank account while maintaining your privacy.
Once you sign up for your secret bank account, you should have a safe, secure place to store your banking information, checks, and bank card. If you do not have a private place where you can store this information, a safety deposit box can be a great alternative. It may even be possible to rent one at the same facility where your post office box is located.
If you really want to open an account in secrecy, a non-interest bearing account would preclude interest and subsequent tax reporting.
While it is nice to earn a return on your money, usually that is not the goal in these situations. As far as credit reporting, bank account records generally do not show up on credit reports. Creditors can see your debts, but are only aware of the cash assets you report to them.
A background check or US federal inquiry, however, can uncover secret bank accounts, so in those situations, you should beware. Bankruptcy filing in the US is one such example.
It seems to me that the anonymity would be lost either at tax time when any interest would have to be filed for taxes, or, when refinancing a house or applying for any joint line of credit where the creditor provides you (both) with a copy of your credit report (which includes any and all known aliases and known address / accounts associated with your social security number). What do you think?
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