How To Open a Bank Account for a Minor

While schools teach valuable skills, personal finance is frequently lacking from the course of study. fortunately, as a parent or defender, it ’ s potential to help young people gain real-world, money-related experience. One way to do thus is by allowing them to use very money in their own bank accounts .

Children and teenagers can deposit funds, watch the report grow and earn pastime, and grasp the pros and cons of spend and saving money. These lessons can be helpful, but there are potential pitfalls of opening accounts and transferring money, excessively. With an reason of what opening a bank account for a minor looks like, which we ’ ll cover below, you can manage those risks .

Learn how to open a bank account for a minor, when you should, and possible risks to watch out for .

What To Consider Before Opening a Bank Account for a minor

Before opening a bank report for a minor, start with the big movie in mind. What are you trying to accomplish by opening an account ? Would you like to help your child understand money, accumulate assets for specific goals, spend money with formative or electronic payments, or something else ? With a specific goal, it ’ south easier to choose the accounts that fit best for you and your child .

For people under the age of 18, opening a bank history is challenging. The problem is that bank customers need to sign an agreement to open an account, and contracts signed by minors are complicated. State laws and corporate policies vary, but banks are frequently reluctant to open accounts for anybody under historic period 18 unless there ’ s besides an adult on the bill .

If a minor plans to open an explanation with an adult, consider that adult ’ s fiscal cognition, longevity, ethics, and more. Picking the right person the first gear time can improve the chances of success.

Types of Bank Accounts for Minors

When opening a bank account with a minor, you have many options—and which one you choose will depend on the fiscal goals you and the minor are trying to reach. Below are respective examples of accounts that might be good fits, offering cognition of everything from basic saving to investing .

joint Accounts

If the goal is for the minor to use the history, say, by making deposits, withdrawals, and purchases via a debit menu, a joint account might be a good choice. Bank accounts typically marketed as “ bank accounts for kids ” are often joint accounts, although they go by different names. Capital One ’ south “ MONEY adolescent checking report, ” for example, is a joint check account available for all kids ages 8 or older .

Keep in mind that each joint history owner might have ownership and complete access to the funds. So either the adult or the child could drain the account or rack up overdraft fees ( unless the savings bank restricts what the child can do ). That ’ s significant to know if you set up a substantial bill balance. For better or worse, joint accounts may have features that keep adults informed about activity in the account. Parents can much set up text or e-mail alerts, and they might be able to suspend access to debit cards if overspend is a concern .

If creating a joint account, be certain to ask your bank what happens when the minor reaches your department of state ’ mho age of majority, or adulthood. For example, if there are restrictions on what minors can do, such as making withdrawals or transfers, those restrictions might end when they turn 18 .

custodial Accounts

custodial accounts are accounts that an adult opens and manages for a child, enabling the adult to save and invest on the child ’ s behalf. Unlike joint accounts that allow children to spend money and take withdrawals, the adult is the alone person with assurance to manage a custodial account. however, the money belongs to the child .

Depositing money into a custodial bill is an irrevocable transfer to the child, and the funds must be used for the profit of the minor. If you put money in a custodial account, it ’ mho critical to understand that the child becomes the account owner and can use the money for anything they want after reaching the age of majority, which is typically 18. once the minor reaches this old age, they are then the adult who can make their own decisions about money. As a leave, they can spend the money on anything, whether it ’ s a long-run investment or a epicurean weekend getaway .

education Accounts

In accession to basic bank accounts, several accounts are available for education costs. These accounts may have tax benefits, so they can ease the burden of paying for school. A few options include :

  • 529 college savings plans: 529 college savings plans allow you to contribute to an account and spend the money tax-free on education expenses, assuming you satisfy the relevant tax laws. These include higher education costs, as well as up to $10,000 per year for K-12 tuition. Higher education can include trade schools, overseas institutions, room and board, and other costs for college or graduate school. You can make significant contributions to these accounts, making them powerful ways to save for the future.
  • Coverdell Education Savings Account (ESA): This account can also help you pay for education with tax-favored dollars. However, not everybody is eligible to contribute to an ESA. Plus, the maximum annual contribution is fairly small, so you may need to start early and supplement these funds with other sources of money.

Prepaid Cards

If your primary goal is to enable payments with plastic, prepaid cards are another option. however, prepay cards are notoriously expensive, and they don ’ thyroxine offer much that a checking score can ’ thymine offer. Bank accounts for teens and children might have no fees ( or impermanent fee waivers ), so a bank history might be a better option .

Pros and Cons of Opening a Bank Account for a minor


  • hands-on have with money
  • ability to make payments and bank on-line
  • An early begin to build up assets
  • low-cost bank options


  • Adult engagement frequently required
  • Can have an affect on fiscal help
  • inflexible rules on some accounts

Pros Explained

hands-on experience With Money

A bank account offers youthful kids valuable exposure to personal-finance concepts. While you can try to explain outline topics in substantial life—while on shopping trips, for example—there ’ randomness no stand-in for letting the child experience everything directly. They can enjoy the satisfaction of earning interest and watching an score balance grow. When it comes to spend, they can grapple with the tradeoffs involved, and practice balance limited resources .

ability To Make Payments and Bank Online

If you want a child to have a debit card or set up direct down payment from a job, a bank history can provide autonomy and appliance. There ’ s no need to carry cash, and minors can be self-sufficient while learning to manage an explanation responsibly .

An early originate To Building Assets

There are bank accounts designed for children and teens, and these can be excellent places to deposit funds for the future. As a parent or defender, you may anticipate expenses such as education costs or expenses related to them moving out someday .

Some accounts offer tax benefits or opportunities to transfer assets to loved ones while maintaining irregular control of the assets .

low-cost deposit Options

In general, bank accounts can have maintenance charges that eat into your savings, and minimal balance requirements that are unachievable for minors. But accounts designed for children and teens often waive those fees and allow the account owner to start with little dollar amounts .

Cons Explained

Adult Involvement Often Required

Children can taste independence with their own bank accounts, but they ’ rhenium not wholly on their own. An adult typically needs to open an history with a minor, and that ’ s often fine ( and possibly even preferred ). But in some cases, minors may not have a relationship with a trustworthy adult who is volition and able to help them open an report .

In some cases, the adult who opens an bill in the name of a child does not have to be a parent or defender. With custodial accounts, for exercise, anyone—grandparents, early family members, or even friends—can open or lend to the account .

Can Have an impact on Financial Aid

Having assets can affect one ’ randomness ability to get fiscal aid, whether they ’ re in the child ’ south list or not. That ’ second because by and large, there must be some type of show fiscal motivation to qualify for certain types of fiscal aid .

While that ’ s not a argue to avoid save, it ’ randomness important to understand how assets can count against you so that you can budget consequently .

inflexible Rules on Some Accounts

As you decide where to save money, consider how and when you intend to spend the funds. Some accounts have rules and restrictions that could conflict with your goals. For example, withdrawals from a 529 account might be submit to taxes and penalties if you don ’ metric ton use the funds for qualified expenses. That said, there may be allowances for scholarships and other situations .

How To Open a Bank Account for a minor

To open an bill for a minor, find a bank that offers the features you rate the most. Take note of any minimum deposit required to open the account, adenine good as ongoing balance requirements. Fees are important, as they can gradually eat away at your savings, so check to see if you ’ ll pay monthly report fees or other costs .

As noted, accounts for minors typically require an pornographic on the account. As with opening any other account, you ’ ll need to provide personal information to open an account. Be prepared with details about the minor and any adult on the report. distinctive requirements include :

  • Full name
  • Social Security number or tax ID number
  • Physical address
  • Valid government identification details

Ask your bank about any requirements before beginning the process to ensure that things go smoothly .

To fund an account for a minor, you can often link an external bank account and move money into the account electronically. You may besides be able to deposit cash and checks ( including remote check deposits with an app ), particularly at brick-and-mortar banks and credit unions .

important Tax and Legal Issues

Whether you use a articulation account or a custodial account, it ’ s significant to consider the tax and legal implications of each .

speak with a local tax adviser to find out what to expect with each type of account. You might have to deal with giving taxes, “ kiddie ” taxes, and early complications. In summation, a local lawyer can help you understand any legal pitfalls. For case, there might be pros and cons of getting money out of your estate of the realm and transferring assets to children. You might even find that a faith ( or other solutions ) will work well .

specially when large sums of money are involved, it ’ second wise to consult with professional advisors before making any fiscal decisions on behalf of your children.

The Bottom Line

Minors can develop valuable skills that they ’ ll want throughout adulthood, and getting an early start is often helpful. Plus, if appropriate, children can enjoy autonomy and appliance when they have their own accounts. It ’ s relatively easy to open trust accounts for minors, although banks typically require an pornographic on the report, which can be challenging .

Before opening and funding a bank report, it ’ south crucial to explore alternatives to standard bank accounts and inquiry any pitfalls. A savings bank report might not be the perfect option for your goals ( you might prefer a 529 for college, for exemplar ) .

frequently Asked Questions ( FAQs )

When should kids get a bank account?

You can open a bank account for your child at any age—even when they ‘re a newborn, ampere long as they have a Social Security numeral. When your child is older, it ’ s up to you to decide if they are senesce enough to contribution some of the account responsibilities .

What do I need to open a bank account if I’m under age 18?

To open an account as a minor, you typically need a parent or another creditworthy adult as a joint account holder.

How much do I need to open a kid’s bank account?

many accounts do n’t require a minimum sediment, or the minimal is identical small. At most banks, $ 25 or sol should be sufficient .

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