Banking doesn’t have to be a chore or a bore

By Trishna Buch

It is never too early to start learning about banking and finances. Many banks around Galveston County understand this, which is why they have student checking accounts—sometimes referred to as teenage checking accounts—in order to encourage young people to manage their money, learn about finances and get acquainted with the banking world.
The financial institutions that offer these student checking accounts are located all around Galveston County. This means that opening a student account is extremely simple. All one has to do is walk into a bank of their choice, in any Galveston County location, and request to speak to a banker to obtain information about the accounts. The banks that offer these student accounts include Wells Fargo, Chase, BBVA Compass, Prosperity Bank, Amegy Bank, Texas First Bank and JSC Federal Credit Union.
At Wells Fargo, students are able to open an everyday checking account that meets their needs as new banking clients. With the Wells Fargo student account, any individual is eligible to receive a monthly service fee discount of $5, as long as they are between the ages of 17 and 24 and the primary holder of the account. The requirement is a minimum $25 opening deposit and keeping a $1,500 balance in order to avoid a monthly service fee. For more information, go online to or visit a Wells Fargo branch near you.
At Prosperity Bank, people between the age of 13 and 17 are eligible to open a checking account that is free and includes no minimum balance or monthly fee for maintenance. However, in order to avoid receiving the monthly maintenance fee, the individual must enroll in eStatements and there is also a $25 opening requirement. For more information, go online to or visit a Prosperity Bank near you.
Chase offers a college checking account for students that are between the ages of 17 and 24, with proof that they are a current student. The account requires a minimum deposit of $25 to open, and—as mentioned on the bank website—“$0 for up to five years while in college or $6 monthly service fee or $0 when you have any one of the following each monthly statement period—a direct deposit made into the account or a $5000 average ending day balance”. For more information go online to or visit a Chase location near you.
Amegy Bank offers an account for students who are between the ages of 16 and 23. The account includes a minimum opening deposit of $25, a minimum balance of $250 to avoid a maintenance fee and requires a student ID and proof of age to be eligible. For more information go online to or visit an Amegy Bank near you.
JSC Federal Credit Union offers an Express Youth Checking account for individuals between the ages of 14 and 17. When opening an account, the individual is required to have a parent or legal guardian accompanying them; so that they can become a joint owner on the account. The account requires a $10 minimum opening deposit, six months of job history, proof of employment, proof of income and must enroll in online banking and estatements. For more information, go online to or visit a JSC Federal Credit Union branch near you.
BBVA Compass has a slightly different approach to student banking. While studying the website, there does not seem to be an age requirement to open an account, but the BBVA Compass ClearChoice Free Checking account is focused towards students. This is evidenced by the statement on the bank’s website that says “as a student, you’re busy, mobile and tech-savvy. You manage your banking primarily through the convenience of online and mobile banking, and you want to save money where you can for more important extracurricular activities.” Joining the ClearChoice Free Checking account will allow students to learn about banking in an easy and manageable fashion. The account includes no monthly service charge and free online banking. For more information go online to or visit a BBVA Compass branch near you.
Although Texas First Bank does not have a specific checking account for young adults, any person between the ages of 14 and 18 can open a joint account with a parent or legal guardian. The individual must have a valid ID and deposit a minimum opening free of $50. For more information, call or visit a Texas First Bank branch near you.
No matter the age or location, any teenager can walk into a financial institution of their choosing and open a checking account. In just a few simple steps, the next generation of our county will be well on their way to learning the ins and outs of money management.

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