Although credit reports are the best way for lenders to rate your creditworthiness, there are other ways to build a record of trust. Bank accounts are a great way for a young adult to prove a level of financial responsibility before applying for that first loan.
Checking and savings account information isn't included on a credit report, but lenders will request it for most loan and credit card applications. Lenders like to know that you have a few years of experience handling your own money and making regular withdrawals and deposits. They also like knowing that you have a steady income.
Several major U.S. banks offer free checking accounts with no annual fees or minimum deposits. Remember, though, that negative bank account activity will appear on your credit report: [source: Burt]. So if you keep a low balance and end up bouncing a check, future lenders will hear about it.