Your child may get an allowance, have a neighborhood gig mowing lawns or a part-time job at a department store. So when is the right time to talk about opening a first checking account? Follow these tips to determine when to open an account and what features make sense for your child.
Is my child ready for a checking account?
First, your child should have experience with spending money – whether from his or her piggy bank or birthday cash. It’s also best if your child has already opened a savings account. This bank account can help him or her learn the importance of saving money before giving them the purchasing power that comes with a checking account.
Typically it’s best to open a first checking account when your child starts his or her first job, around the age of 16. At that time, your child can have his or her paychecks directly deposited, learn how to use a debit card and practice the process of balancing a checking account.
What kind of checking account is best for my child?
To help your child learn the basics of banking, it’s important that you choose an account with the following features:
- No minimum or monthly maintenance fees – These fees can be both stressful and confusing. It’s best to find a fee free checking account.
- Online account access – You can teach your child money management any time with easy access from your home computer.
- Debit card – A debit card can illustrate how bank transactions work.
- Convenient bank location – Going to the bank is part of the learning process for your child. You want to be close enough that both of you can visit to make deposits and see your customer service representative with any questions.
Merchants Bank’s Free Checking account is a great solution for your child’s first checking account. Free Checking features free access to Online and Mobile Banking, no minimum account balance, a free debit card and more. To find out about all of the features of our Free Checking, click here. To open an account, make an appointment for you and your child at your local Merchants Bank location (link to locations web page).
*$50 minimum deposit required to open Free Checking account. Some restrictions may apply.