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Does Your Teenager Need a Checking Account?

Key Takeaways

  • You can open a joint checking account with your child when they turn 16.
  • These checking accounts let your teen set up direct deposits, withdraw cash easily, and make debit card purchases.
  • Mobile banking lets your teen track their spending in real-time so they don’t overdraw.

Did your teenager land their first job? Now is the perfect time to start talking about personal finances.

If they have a savings account, encourage your teen to continue depositing money into that account. When he or she turns 16, you can open a joint checking account with them. That’ll be helpful as they start paying for gas, dinner dates, and gifts. (Note: When they turn 18, they can open their own checking account without a co-signer.)

High school checking accounts allow your teen to set up direct deposits from their employer, withdraw cash easily, and make debit card purchases when necessary. It provides a little more financial freedom for them, and gives you the opportunity to teach good financial practices.

What to know about teen checking accounts

The first thing to know about a teen checking account is you'll need to be on the account as a co-owner. As a parent, this provides you security and peace of mind; with a joint checking account, you have insight into your teen's spending habits and can keep them from overdrawing.

Both you and your teen can deposit or withdraw funds from the account, plus access online banking. You can also make transfers from your own account to theirs in real time.

Some banks require a minimum balance to open a checking account, and could have various monthly fees. Some are fixed for easy budgeting, while others waive fees with certain account usage or maintaining a specific balance.

Benefits of a teen checking account in high school

When opening an account, sit down and discuss spending, saving, and budgeting with your teen. Create a simple budget together; this will reinforce the concept of budgeting and help them track their spending. Incorporate typical expenses, like gas money and school lunches.

Teaching your child to track spending will help them avoid overdrawing. Mobile banking makes it easy to get account balances in real-time, set up balance alerts, and transfer money from savings to checking when a big purchase comes up.

A teen checking account also lets you deposit your child’s allowance — if they get one — right into the bank each week. Starting them down a good financial path early will help your teen manage their income and expenses better when they're away at college and later when they’re on their own.

More information

Is your teen ready to take on a little more responsibility? Learn more about joint checking accounts here, or call 1-877-360-2472.

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