What Is a Financial

Financial institution account number

If your account is in the United States, you can locate your bank or financial institution's Routing Transit Number (RTN) and your account number on one of your blank checks.

At the bottom of your check are three sets of numbers. The Routing Transit Number is usually the first nine numbers in the bottom left-hand corner. The account number is usually the second set of numbers.

Your Routing Transit Number may also appear on your checking or savings account statements.

Please contact your bank or financial institution if you are unable to locate these numbers. They will provide you with the information.

Important: If your account is at a credit union or a small bank, look below the name of your "bank" on the check. If it says "Payable through" and shows the name of another bank:

  • They process checks through a different financial institution.
  • The Routing Transit Number you need for direct deposit may be different than the number on your account.

You need to contact your bank and ask for the correct Routing Transit Number to use for direct deposit.

If your account is at an investment company or brokerage firm

If your account is at an investment company or you wish to have your payments directly deposited into your account at a brokerage firm ( e.g., Legg Mason, Charles Schwab, etc.), do not assume the Account and Routing Transit Numbers printed on your check are correct for your account.

Most investment and brokerage firms are not financial institutions. They usually designate a specific bank for their business transactions. Your investment or brokerage firm account may have a different Bank Account and Routing Transit Number than your personal checking account.

Contact your investment or brokerage firm to be sure that you have the correct Bank Account and Routing Transit numbers for your account.

If your account is outside the United States

If you want your benefits deposited directly into an account outside the United States,

  1. Contact your nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate or Social Security office to obtain a "Direct Deposit Sign-Up Form, " form SSA-1199, for the country where you want your United States Social Security benefit payments deposited. A list of U.S. Embassies, Consulates and Diplomatic Missions can be found at
  2. Have your bank or financial institution complete the form.
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