A bank account is now a must. It is never too early to start saving money and banks provide security. In addition, paying with a debit card makes your life easier – you can’t shop online without it (although paying by credit card would be safer when it comes to consumer protection). Can I open a bank account at 17 by myself?
Opening a bank account is difficult for people under 18 years of age. The problem is that you have to sign a contract to open an account, and the contracts signed by minors are complicated. State law and corporate policy are different, but most banks will not open accounts for those under the age of 18 unless an adult is also on the account.
If you are 18 years or older
Regardless of the reason, if you are 18, you can and relatively easily set up a bank account without your parents’ knowledge.
If you are under 18 years of age, you can open a bank account with another relative, such as your aunt, uncle or older siblings.
As long as you have a valid photo ID issued in the US, opening a bank account should be a fairly simple process.
You can open a bank in person at your local branch or online by completing an online application.
Check with your financial institution for documents that may include:
- Important (has not expired) Photo identification
- Social Security Card
- A birth certificate
- Proof of address (cable or media bill, mortgage statement or lease agreement)
How to open an account for a minor
One of the most common ways to get banking for minors is to open a joint account or escrow account. Almost every bank or credit union offers this type of account, so you just have to choose the features that are most important to you. Look for low (or no) fees, competitive interest rates, and institutions that are easy to work with. If you can’t find anything locally, online banks are a good option.
If the purpose of the minor is to use the account (for example, making deposits, withdrawals and purchases using a debit card), this will be done by a joint account. Simply open an account with at least one adult as the account holder. This account can be a regular vanilla account or account designed for a crowd of under 18s.
Most accounts sold as “children’s bank accounts” are in the form of joint accounts, although they have different names:
- Control accounts for teens
- Savings accounts for young people
- Looney Tunes accounts
- Savings club
- Checking the student
- Get a money mentor
Just because you don’t want your parents to know your financial business doesn’t mean you are an expert or even understand the basics of smart savings.
The financial habits you start early can be difficult to change in later years.
One of the benefits of parental involvement in your banking is that they can give you tips, coaching and advice.