18 answers

16 Year Old/checking Account

My son just got his first paycheck. We are going to the bank to open an account for him today. Need some advice on what to do for a 16 year old. Can he just open a savings acct and cash his checks yet or does he need to open a checking acct? I don't know if he should have a check card at his age and if I am responsible for any over drafts he may get. All suggestions welcome.

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So What Happened?™

Does that mean that I am responsible for any over drafts he may create?

Featured Answers

I agree that the bank will have some suggestions, so I would ask them about options.

I had a joint account with my stepdaughter from 16 until she was through college. She had a debit card at 16. Later she also opened a credit card by herself. She was always very responsible with her money. Getting an overdraft charge was something she learned from.

One of the reasons I stayed on her account so long was that it was handy if she needed money for college or other things that her father and I were helping her with, I could make transfers directly into her account from mine.

More Answers

We recently opened a second account for my 16 year old son, he has a college fund but he can't use it for direct deposits of his work check. We opened a checking account in his name and added my name to it. I can see the activity in his account when I do online banking. I have never clicked on his account to see what he spends and where, I just see the total when I log in. Your questions would be best answered by the bank as each bank may have their own rules. I would suggest a debit card, perhaps the bank can set it up where he can't overdraft so you don't have that worry.

2 moms found this helpful

Open his account and add your name as additional member. When he gets older you can remove your name!

1 mom found this helpful

I would say not to get a debit card. It doesn't feel "real" and so it's easier to fly through the money.

Getting a check account is a good idea--that can help him learn to balance and manage his money.

Ask the bank about financial responsibility if he overdraws, and/or if your name is also on the account.

When I was kid and was opening my first checking account, I had to have my parents sign, but rules might be different now or different with different banks.

1 mom found this helpful

I would personally give him a savings only account.. that way when he cashes his check, he can leave so much in savings, and keep cash as his 'spending' money. Otherwise, he might be tempted to spend it all. And you won't have to worry about overdrafts... give him a chance to learn how to manage his money before making it too accessible to him! lol.

1 mom found this helpful

At our bank, you can opt out of overdraft protection. Or, have overdraft protection linked to the savings instead of a credit card.

See if your bank will let him open an account without you on it. The best way to teach financial responsibility is to make one financially responsible.

1 mom found this helpful

If you are on his account, you would be responsible for any overdrafts. Talk to more than one financial institution (personally prefer credit unions) because if their debit card program is live (meaning transactions clear immediately from the account) it would be more difficult to overdraw from debit transactions. If he didn't keep track of his checks, the account could be overdrawn that way. He may not even need checks, just the debit card. Also, with mobile banking he could get his balance just by sending a text so he would know how much money he has. Any decent account rep at your financial institution would be willing to sit down with him and explain how important it is to balance your account and how bad credit would affect him. Good luck!

Talk to the bank, they can answer all your questions. I had a checking account at 15 and never had a problem. I did not have to declare an overdraft account, just pay fees if I was over drawn, which I never was.

I am thinking of this as well, as I have a 16 year old. I will be interested to see the response. One things we did do now that he is driving is we give him a $20 gas card. We fill up the car and mark where it is filled and he's expected to fill it back up with the card. This is only for longer trips to friends of 30 mins. or so. Seems to work. Course it's not enough so he supplements with his own money.
good luck,
S.

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