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Why Should Teens Have a Bank Account?
All teens should have a bank account whether it is a savings or current account. They need to learn the responsibility of handling their money and the way banks handle their money. This way by the time they are adults and taking on bigger and more important responsibilities they will already have a handle on how banking works. Having their own bank account also gives them a feeling of confidence and leads them into the grown-up world. Sometimes teens see a balance on their bank statement for the first time and never realised they could save that much money. They can watch it grow into their college fund, or their first car fund, but whatever they are saving for, the bank account gives them a visual. From that point they can start to set goals and realise they can do things they never thought they could do with their money.
Finding the Right Bank
Most of the larger banks have special accounts for teens, some that even transform into adult accounts after so many years. All of these larger banks will give out an ATM card to go along with the account. This is the type of bank teens will want to look for because they know the bank is catering to their needs. Plus these banks will most likely have ATMs in the most locations. You will want a bank that has ATMs near your home, school and most-frequented places. You will also want a bank that understands teens are busy people. They tend to forget to deposit checks or pay bills, so you need a bank that allows direct deposit, online bill pay or auto drafts. This way their deposit automatically goes into their account and they can pay their bills at a point after that. Then they don't have to think about it again until the next month, or at all. One of the most important things for teens to look for in a bank is no monthly fees for the account. Teens do not want to have to do the bookkeeping to keep track of fees, besides they don't usually have money to spend on monthly fees. You want the account to carry a no-minimum balance status. This way the teen won't be charged if there is only £9 in the account. All of these things are important teaching tools and for a teen with his first bank account.
How to Open the Account
In some states you cannot open a bank account by yourself if you are under the age of 18. You will want to check with the bank of your choice before you go to the bank. When you get to the bank you will want to ask for the new accounts department. Tell the bank officer what you're trying to do and what goals you have for your bank account. Because they have so many types of accounts they will lead you to the accounts that would best fit your needs. You will need a photo ID and Social Security number, and your ID must show your home address. They will ask you for a current e-mail address if you have one, too. You will fill out the information on the application for a savings or current account and you will have to sign signature cards. These are used to compare your signature to the signature on your checks to prevent potential fraud. Once the account is set up you will have to set up your online user name and password for online banking, if you choose to do so.
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