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Teens get your first checking account and debit card!

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Opening a checking account with a debit card starts the journey toward financial independence and managing your own money. Supervised by a trusted adult, you can open a checking account at your local bank and get your first debit card.

Starting with an Adult’s Guidance

The easiest option is to go to the local bank your parent or guardian uses. Ask your parent or guardian to take you to the bank and open your first checking account and get a Debit Card. The bank should allow you to have your own account which will be linked to theirs. Since you are under 18, you will not be fully independent. Tell your parents how this will teach you how to handle your own money. They can easily transfer money to you. They can easily monitor your spending and savings as well. Being under 18, you can not overdraft or have credit. Talk about these things at the bank and ask plenty of questions.

Debit Card

Be sure to get a "Debit Card". An "ATM card" is used to transact in ATMs only. You can use Debit cards at stores and online. Be sure to understand ATM Fees. Also, ask about what happens if your number gets stolen and used online. It happens through no fault of your own, and your bank takes care of it very easily.

Link a savings account

You may already have a passbook savings account at this bank. Tell them you also want an online savings account. Your checking account will be for recreation spending. Your savings account will be for saving money that you do not touch. You'll be saving for big purchases, vacations, a car, or college.

Activate Online Banking

Once your account is set up, activate online banking services. Work with an adult to choose a strong, unique password for your online account. Enable two-factor authentication if available, adding an extra layer of security to your financial information.

Download the Bank’s App

Most banks offer user-friendly mobile apps. Download and install the app on your smartphone with the assistance of an adult. Ensure your smartphone has a secure lock screen, such as a PIN or fingerprint recognition, to protect against unauthorized access. Get used to checking your balance once a week. This is good practice to prevent fraud as well us being on top of your finances.

Set Up Direct Deposit

Once you have a job, setup Direct deposit. Your pay goes right into your account, Make sure you still get a paper stub or online access to your pay stubs. You still need to be aware of taxes and other deductions,

Depositing Checks with Your App

While depositing checks through a mobile app is convenient, be cautious about where and when you capture check images. Use secure, private Wi-Fi networks to perform these transactions, and never share your account details in response to unsolicited messages or emails.

Check Your Balance Regularly: Cultivating Financial Awareness

Regularly monitoring your account balance is not only a good financial habit but also a security measure. Report any suspicious transactions to the bank immediately. Be wary of phishing attempts, where fraudsters attempt to trick you into revealing sensitive information through deceptive emails or messages.

Use the ATM

Have an adult take you to the ATM and learn how to use it. Learn about the fees that you might pay just by getting your money from different ATMs. Know which ATMs to use.

Use your card online

You can now use the debit card for your online game subscriptions or online purchases. As your guardian to walk you through this. It can be intimidating at first. Understand how you are protected and how to be safe.

Conclusion: Empowered Finances with Safety at the Forefront

Opening your first checking account with a debit card is a significant milestone, symbolizing the start of your financial journey. With the guidance of a trusted adult, you can confidently navigate online banking, harness the power of a mobile app, and explore advanced features like direct deposit and mobile check deposits—all while prioritizing the security of your financial information. Embrace these tools to foster financial responsibility and security, setting the stage for a secure and empowered future.

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