Whether you’re trying to put aside money for your child’s education or want to start teaching them how to handle their own money, opening a bank account for your child is one of the most important things you can do as a parent. Here’s what to look for in a bank account for kids.
Your child is likely to have a low balance that could quickly be eaten away by monthly fees and other charges. Find a local credit union or bank with no fees to avoid having your child be completely turned off from saving. If your own checking and savings accounts aren’t charged a monthly fee, don’t assume this will apply to your child’s account — you may be receiving a waiver for direct deposit or a minimum balance, and you could also be grandfathered in to a no fee account that is no longer available.
Online Account Management
Online access is a big plus when looking for a bank account for kids because it allows you to easily sit down with a child and show them how their money is growing. You can also link the account to your own account so you can quickly transfer them money. To avoid trips to the actual bank around holidays and birthdays, a bank that accepts mobile check deposits is a plus.
Some banks and credit unions have a special bank account for kids that’s geared towards helping them learn how to manage money. They may offer special, higher interest rates on the first few hundred dollars in the account, offer educational materials online, by mail, or in the bank, and give small gifts like stickers to kids who visit the bank in person. Make banking a positive experience so your kids want to take charge of their financial future.
How to Get Started
Opening a bank account for kids is simple as long as you are their parent or legal guardian. You will need their Social Security number, possibly their birth certificate or other proof you are their parent or guardian, and your own ID. Typically, you will sign as a joint owner of the account to give you greater access to make deposits and help them manage their money. While an older child may be encouraged to sign for themselves, you can sign for a younger child who isn’t ready to do so.