There is no "one size fits all" answer for this question. Specific rules can vary by bank. Some banks require the account holder to be at lease 16 years of age with proof of employment and a valid ID. Some banks will grant a checking account to a child younger than 18 years old with a secondary account holder. Some research is required to find out what the age requirements are for various banks. Here are some things to consider before opening a checking account.
Opening a checking account for the first time is a vital step to learning the valuable lesson of money management. Some banks choose a minimum age of 16 because of the implication that it is the legal age for obtaining a job and becoming eligible for a driver's license. Some banks have stricter rules and only allow adults (age 18 and older) to open checking accounts because age implies greater liability and responsibility.
Generally, individuals who are under 18 years old can open the account and have depository and withdrawal privileges but won't be issued a debit card or checks without adult consent. Individuals over 18 years old usually have access to all of the aforementioned account components.
Each bank will have at least two different types of checking accounts with varying options: opportunities to accrue interest, minimal fees or account forgiveness (such as reduced overdraft fees or overdraft protection), refunds of ATM fees for non-bank issued ATMs and linked Checking & Savings accounts. Do some research into the varying accounts to determine the best one for you. The most simple checking account is usually appropriate for a younger account holder where some of the features mentioned above are usually more helpful to more mature account holders.
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There are a number of things to consider when opening and managing a checking account. For instance, some banks offer checking accounts that fall into varying balance requirements. If you fall under a certain balance, your account is charged. No matter what age, be sure that you are aware of all account requirements and benefits.
If it becomes difficult to find a checking account that matches the interests of the individual or if the individual doesn't meet the age requirements of the bank, a savings account is a broader yet extremely efficient way to teach money management and become more familiar with banking procedures.