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Getting Started: How to Open Your First Student Bank Account

Opening your first student bank account is a big milestone, and it’s a journey that can set you up for success both now and in the future. Managing your money well is an essential life skill, and having your own bank account can help you start practicing those skills right away. Plus, it gives you easy access to your funds, helps you track your spending, and can even come with some perks! Let’s dive into the basics of student banking, the requirements for opening an account, tips on choosing the right bank, and how to set up online banking.

Introduction to Student Banking
A student bank account gives you the freedom to manage your money your way. It’s a checking account specifically designed for young people, often featuring reduced fees, easy access to funds, and sometimes even rewards from using your debit card. Your first checking account is a great tool for learning how to budget, save, and spend responsibly. Having a student bank account can also help you start building good financial habits that will serve you well throughout your life.


Requirements for Opening an Account
So, you’ve decided to take the plunge and open a student bank account. Let’s talk about what you need to get started. Most banks require you to be at least 16 years old, but some may offer checking accounts to students as young as 12 years old. Below is a list of common account opening requirements. Always check with the Bank you’re choosing to open account with to find out what they require for before arriving to open your account.

  • Identification: This can be your driver's license, state ID, or passport. For minors, a birth certificate, or School Photo ID.
  • Social Security number: Check with your parent or guardian to ensure you have your social security card handy. Some banks may require visual proof of the number.
  • Parent or Legal Guardian: If you're under 18, you will need a parent or guardian to be a joint owner on the checking account you open.
    Once you have your documents ready, head to the bank and a customer service representative will guide you through the process of opening your account.

Choosing the Right Bank
Selecting the right bank is essential to make sure your student bank account works best for you. Here’s a few tips to help you choose wisely:

  • Look for student-friendly features: Check if the bank offers low fees, no minimum balance requirements, and perks such as customized debit cards, reward programs, and referral bonuses.
  • Consider the location: A bank with a branch and ATMs near you is super convenient, especially if you need to deposit or withdraw cash.
  • Check out their online and mobile banking: Make sure the bank offers easy-to-use online banking tools and a good mobile app complete with budgeting tools.
  • Financial Guidance: A bank that offers Financial Literacy tools to help you achieve your money goals is an excellent ally as you begin your financial journey.

Setting Up Online Banking
Once you've chosen your bank and opened your account, it’s time to set up online banking - it's the key to managing your finances easily and efficiently. Here’s how to get started:

  • Download the bank's app: Most banks offer a mobile app that lets you access your account from anywhere. You may need to set-up online banking from the Banks website first before signing up through the mobile app. Banks have different rules so its a great question to ask before you leave the bank on the day you open your account.
  • Create a secure password: Make sure your password is strong and unique to keep your account safe. Never share your password with anyone and know that your bank will never call or text you to ask you for your password.
  • Explore the app's features: Take some time to familiarize yourself with the app, including how to check your balance, track your spending, and transfer money.
  • Set up alerts: Many apps let you set up notifications for low balances or large transactions, which can help you stay on top of your finances.
  • Set-up your Digital Wallet: Connect your debit card to Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay and make paying for games, music, online, and in-store purchases effortless and secure.

Once you’ve got online banking set up, managing your student bank account is easy. You can check your balance anytime, if you have a savings account you can transfer money between accounts, and keep track of your expenses all from your phone or computer. It's a great way to stay in control of your money and build good financial habits.

Opening your first bank account is an exciting step towards financial independence. It's your chance to take charge of your money, learn how to budget and save, and start building a strong foundation for your financial future. By following these tips on choosing the right bank, gathering the necessary documents, and setting up online banking, you'll be well on your way to mastering your finances. So get ready to enjoy the journey and all the benefits that come with having your own student checking account!

Learn more about our Youth Banking Essentials and contact us today to learn more about or Propel Student Checking account.

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