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Two People talking about opening a bank credit union account

Opening an Account

These sections discussing your money are part of a Legacy Community Health TeenWell™ collaboration with Richard Simonds and Tan Tidwell of the University of Houston-Downtown’s Financial Coaching and Economic Stability Lab.

When opening an account with any financial institution, you want to make sure you know what rules, restrictions, or perks the bank or credit union offers. Here is a quick list of the most important questions you’ll want answered before deciding which institution is best suited for your needs:

  • What is the minimum amount to open the account and the balance required to keep the account open?
  • What are the documents needed to open an account?
  • Is there a monthly maintenance fee or require a minimum balance?
  • Can you get a debit card with your checking account?
  • Are there ATM fees? If so, what are the fees?
  • Will the institution charge paper statement fees?
  • What are the locations of the institution?
  • Does the institution offer shared branch banking?
  • Is there a fee for overdrafting the account or does the debit card get auto declined?
  • Does the account come with spending limits?
  • Do you have to have your own account with the bank?
  • What happens when a teen ages out of the account?
  • Are mobile and text banking offered?
  • Does the institution offer or allow peer-to-peer payment apps, such as Venmo, PayPal, or CashApp?
  • Can a parent set other restrictions? (For minors, if an adult is required to be a part of the account.)