If you’re fifteen, or you have a fifteen year old teen and you’re looking at getting them their own bank account, here’s what you need to know.
First things first, please recognize that the process can vary a bit from country to country, and some places in the world may require a bit more to open an account, and some may require a bit less.
Also, if you’re looking to open your own bank account at 15, but you don’t have a parent that you can trust to be added to that account with you, it can be a bit tricky.
Here’s What You’ll Need to Get a Debit Card at 15:
- You’ll need some identification like a social security number in the United States, or a SIN in Canada.
- You’ll need to provide the bank with your address and mailing information, a telephone number where they can reach you, and possibly an email address.
- You’ll need a parent or legal guardian with you to open the account.
The last point is the one that can cause the most trouble in certain instances, and can make it difficult for teens who don’t have someone to help with that. It could be that their parents are too busy with work to make it to the bank during banking hours, or that their parents don’t want them to have their own bank account yet, or it could be a situation where the parent has some issues with substances or gambling or other vices and the teen doesn’t feel safe with the parent having access to their money.
These can be difficult obstacles to face, especially for a teenager who wants to get their own bank account so they can work a job to get out of a bad situation. It’s sad that these types of obstacles exist, and that anyone can’t just walk in and open their own bank account and get a debit card at 15.
Alternatives to Debit Cards at 15
If you can’t open up a checking account in order to get your own debit card when you’re 15 years old, and your parents want you to wait until you’re 16 or 17, or they simply won’t help you, or you don’t want them to be on a joint-account with you, then you’ll probably have to just wait until you’re a bit older.
Having said that, there are some possible alternatives, too.
If you want to use this card to pay for things, or to order stuff on the internet, you could get a prepaid credit card instead of a debit card.
The downside to prepaid credit cards is they often have some pretty excessive fees attached to them.
If there’s a specific store’s website that you want to order from online, and it’s a large enough store that they sell their own gift cards, you could pick up the gift card in person from a kiosk or the store itself, and then use that card to make your purchase online – but that’s a lot of extra hassle, you might as well just shop in-store at that point, right?
If you need a bank account and a debit card in order to deposit your paychecks from work, but you have no way to open a bank account without a parent or a guardian, you could see if there’s someone close to you that you trust a lot – and you could see if they’re willing to cash your checks for you into their account and then to give you the money.
But this still isn’t ideal, since you have to count on them to help with this on an on-going basis, and there’s always a chance that they take off with some of your paycheck which is never good.
You could take your paychecks from work and take them to a check-cashing place, which is probably could to be your best bet until you get your own bank account. The downside to this is that you won’t have a safe place to keep your earnings, which can make it harder to save up.
Debit Card at 15 – Yes or No?
If you can open a bank account at 15 and get a debit card, you should do it! It’s good to establish yourself at a bank with a long history of being a client, and the benefits of a bank account allow you to save your money safely and securely without worrying about losing it, spending it, or having it stolen from you.
If your parents are people that you trust to be added to your bank account, and they don’t have any issues helping you open an account, simply visit your local bank branch with them to get things started.
If you don’t have parents that will you with this, it’s unfortunate, but hopefully some of the alternatives above can be helpful until you’re 18 and you can open the account on your own.
If you have any local organizations that you work with, you could also see if they have any options to assist you with opening an account at a bank.
Visiting a local bank branch could also prove to be helpful, but bear in mind that they’ll likely tell you something similar: that they can’t open an account for you without a parent or a legal guardian or someone else who is willing and able to open a joint account alongside you.
As you get older, new opportunities will be available to you. It’s frustrating if you need to get a debit card at 15 and you’re having trouble, but hopefully this information has served useful and you have some ideas for the next steps that you can take towards this goal.