Some kids are fortunate enough to have parents who opened up savings accounts for them at a younger age, it’s a great way to learn about the value of a dollar, saving money, and how interest can help those savings grow (when the rates aren’t super low).

But eventually, teenagers are going to want bank accounts with debit cards so they can spend their own money without having to make a trip to the bank to withdraw it. So, you’re here because you’re wondering: can a 13 year old have a debit card? The short answer is yes, thirteen year olds can have debit cards, but there’s more to it than that. It’s not the same as an 18 year old or a 36 year old walking into a bank to open up a bank account when a minor wants to start banking.

You can get a job when you’re 15 or 16 depending on where you live, and even at a younger age in certain circumstances (like babysitting), but it can be tough to open a bank account without a parent or guardian’s signature, due to the laws surrounding minors and signing contracts.

A year 13 old can have a debit card if their parent opens up a joint checking account with them.

There are a number of different accounts that people under 18 can be added to, including checking, savings, custodial accounts, education accounts, and more.

Joint account vs custodial accounts for minors?

The big different between a joint bank account and a custodial bank account is that with a joint account, the minor has access to the money that’s in the account.

Paying With Plastic

A pre-paid card, like the ones you can buy from gas stations, or one from a financial institution, is another option if someone under 18 wants to pay for something with plastic. Anyone can purchase a pre-paid card from the store, and then use that card at places that accept cards as a payment method including brick and mortar stores, or online stores.

A Warning For Youth Opening Bank Accounts

Remember that if a parent helps you setup a joint account, they will also have access to all of the funds in this account, and they’ll also have more of a say over the account, as an adult. If you’re getting a job and depositing your checks into the account, make sure that your parent is someone that you trust with money. It’s sad to think about a parent taking their kids money, but it has happened, sometimes parents have issues with substances or gambling or other addictions, and they won’t be themselves in the darker moments.

The second you turn 18, you can open your own account that is fully free and clear of any connection to another adult, it’s all yours to do what you want with it.

Youth accounts will often convert from (free) accounts for minors, to (paid) regular accounts, so keep that in mind if you start to notice your balance dwindling after reaching the age of majority.

Mat Woods
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Mat Woods

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