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Can a teenager have a bank account?

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    Opening a bank account can be a great first step toward becoming financially aware. But can a teenager open a bank account? Yes, but with some conditions. Those under 18 are often required to have a parent or guardian present, who may need to be an owner or co-owner of the account with the teen.

    How a teenager can open a bank account?

    A teen can typically open a bank account with the presence of a parent or guardian and identification may be required from both. Banks and other financial institutions may have different requirements so check with your bank for what's required. If you're a U.S. citizen or a non-U.S. citizen residing in the U.S., here’s a list of a few documents the teen and, if required, parent or guardian may need to open the account. Identification which could be a valid:

    • Government issued photo ID or driver’s license
    • Social Security card or individual taxpayer identification card
    • Passport
    • Birth certificate

    Proof of address that shows the name and address of residence will also be required.

    After providing the essential information as stated above, a minimum deposit may be needed to fund a teen bank account. Again, most financial institutions require a parent or guardian to open the account on behalf of or as a co-owner with the minor. Many financial institutions require this to occur in a branch, though some may allow an account to be opened online.

    Features of a bank account for teenagers

    Depending on the financial institution and the account, a teen account held by a parent or guardian can have some helpful features including:

    • A debit card for the teen to use
    • Account alerts so the adult account holder can keep track of purchases
    • Spending limits
    • ATM withdrawal limits
    • Money transfer capability
    • Goal setting to save for future purchases

    Benefits of a bank account for teenagers

    Having a bank account may help a teen develop basic financial skills including how to use a debit card, make withdrawals and deposits, and use online or mobile banking tools. In addition, a bank account can help a teen learn how to budget and save. Developing smart money management habits early in life (and under your watchful eye) may help to avoid some common financial pitfalls down the road.

    In summary

    Opening a bank account for a teenager can be done, typically with the help of a parent or guardian as owner of the account. Often, the account may need to be opened in a branch, but some teen accounts can be opened online — again, with the oversight of a parent or guardian. In addition, teen accounts can provide features that may help teens develop healthy financial habits over time.

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