As a teen, you’re dealing with money issues that a “children’s” savings account just can’t help you with. You may be starting to earn money, going out, shopping, and looking forward to college. Now is a critical time in your life to learn how to manage, spend, save and gift your money.
Elevations offers Scholarships
Each year, scholarships offered by Elevations’ Foundation help our student members continue their education beyond high school. Since 2000, Elevations Credit Union has granted 140 scholarship awards for a total of $159,645.
Learn more about Elevations' Scholarships.
Your First Checking Account
If you’re earning money at a part-time job or your parents give you an allowance with the responsibility of buying your own clothes, entertainment, etc., a checking account can make your life easier. At Elevations Credit Union, you can open a checking account if you are age 13 or older.
Before you open your first checking account, you’ll want to learn the ropes so that you don’t start out with costly mistakes. We’ve provided some resources below to help you educate yourself to find the right solutions for your situation.
Our Free Checking is perfect for teens. There’s no minimum balance, no monthly fee, and you can write checks to your heart’s content without being charged a transaction fee. Once your checking account is setup, there are all kinds of add-ons you can choose to customize your checking account for your lifestyle.
Your First Plastic
As a teen, you’re going to start getting a lot of mail offering you credit cards. Beware — credit cards are loans, not “free money.” That means you have to pay the money back. And if you don’t pay it back on time, you’ll have to pay back even more than you borrowed!
Some lenders who offer credit cards to teens under age 18 charge very high interest rates and fees. These lenders are betting you’re so excited about getting a credit card that you won’t notice the high price you’re paying. You and your parents can learn more about predatory lending in “Module2: Breathing Without Air” and “Module 3: Kick Some Buck” at FoolProof for Parents and Grandparents, our interactive online learning center.
Not all Visa Cards are Credit Cards
You don’t have to wait until you’re 18 to get a low-cost Visa card. If you are 13 or older and have an Elevations Checking Account, you can get a Visa Debit Card. A check card looks just like a credit card, but it works the same as writing a check.
When you make a purchase using your Visa Debit Card, the money comes from your checking account, not a loan. Since it’s not a loan, you never pay interest! You also get in the habit of thinking before you buy because you are spending “your” money from “your” checking account.
Also use your Visa Debit Card at ATMs to make deposits and get cash.
Resources for Money-Wise Teens
C-Note – Make learning about the responsibilities of money management fun at C-Note: Money Skills for High School Students, offering personal stories, videos, games, blogs, calculators, a teenage panel and more!
FoolProof – Have your parent get you started with FoolProof, our interactive, online learning center. They’ll register as a “coach” and you’ll register as a “player.” It’s the first step in earning the responsibility of managing your own bank account while getting the most out of your money. Learn real-life lessons on financial responsibility and the realities of our free enterprise system. Participate in the interactive learning center for teens. Module 4: Road Trip teaches all about checking accounts and debits cards including an online homework module about writing checks and balancing your account.