As a parent, you will be with your child through all kinds of firsts in their life. You will guide them, offer them support, and lend them a hand when needed. While not as glamorous as some of the big firsts out there, opening their very first bank account is a pretty monumental moment. It shows they are old and responsible enough to look after their money, and it acts as an introduction to banking, which is something they will deal with the rest of their lives.
As you prepare your child to open that first account, there are some tips you can use to help you find the right account. Not only that, you may be curious as to what information will be needed for the bank to create an account for them. So, let’s jump right in.
Parental Limits on Accounts
First things first, yes, it can seem awfully scary just opening an account for your school-aged child and handing over a bank card to them. That’s exactly why many of these accounts offer parental limitations that you can set up. You can do such things as limit their ATM withdrawals and even view their bank account activity. This can be helpful as kids learn the responsibility of having a bank account.
Any Amount of Money Can Be Deposited
Perhaps you’ve been holding off opening an account for your child until they “have enough” money saved. In reality, you can open most student checking accounts with any amount of money. They could deposit just a couple of dollars and it will still be fine. The earlier you open an account for them, the faster they can get started and learn about how banking works.
Research the Various Accounts
Before you actually head to the bank and open the account it can be helpful to research the types of accounts they offer. Some require a minimum balance (this is more common with savings accounts), some require a minimum balance to waive fees and service charges, some allow for a set amount of free transactions per month, and there are online accounts, etc. You need to pick the one that best meets their needs and spending/saving habits.
If you’re feeling a bit confused with the options, you can always speak to someone at your local branch and get some advice on the best accounts for kids.
What Do They Need to Open the Account?
Now it’s time for the logistics: what is needed to open an account. Here in the U.S., you will need an initial deposit amount (cash), your child’s social security number, address, dates of birth, and your own picture ID. Parents will need to sign all the legal documents on behalf of their kids, which is why you should bring along your own details.
Remember it Can Be Changed at a Later Date
Keep in mind that whatever type of account you open right now for your child can always be changed as they start to save more money, get older, and their spending/savings habits also change.