Opening a bank account for a baby can be a great way to plan ahead for educational expenses or just save money for his future. Although many different bank account options are available, opening a bank account for a baby is straightforward and simple. With some research, a social security card and some discussions with bankers in your area, you'll have a bank account open for your baby before you know it.
Research and decide what type of account would be best for the baby. Some high-yield, less risky choices include standard savings accounts, money market funds and CDs. Other options are bond mutual funds and government savings bonds. Evaluate the time line of the account and the intended use for the money that is saved when deciding which type of bank account would work best. Do you plan on letting the baby have access to the account when he is 12, 18 or 25? Answers to these types of questions will affect the decision about which type of account to open.
Get a social security number for the baby. Although each bank has its own set of rules and regulations about opening an account, having a social security number will most likely be necessary, so it's best to have this information ready. Paperwork to get a social security number for a baby can be completed at the hospital when the baby is born or with a trip to the local social security office afterward. However, it can take up to four months to receive the card, so plan ahead.
Talk to banks to determine options and make the deal. Unfortunately, because most children's accounts carry small balances and are not very profitable for banks, options for a bank account for a baby are much more limited than for an adult bank account. Compare things like minimum balances and fees when making the decision about which bank to use.
Finally, consider opening a joint bank account for baby and parent. This has the potential to offer greater flexibility and better rates than a children's account. The social security number of the baby will still most likely be needed, and it would still be beneficial to shop around for the best deal. However, this option may be a great deal easier than specifically searching for an account just for the baby.
Also consider college savings plans, including 529 college savings plans, prepaid tuition plans, education savings accounts and custodial trust accounts. These types of accounts offer tax advantages that standard savings accounts do not.
Pay attention to any fine print before opening any bank account.