You can’t open a savings account on your own until you turn 18, the age when you can legally sign contracts, unless you have a cosigner older than 18. Some states extend the age limit beyond 18, though all 50 states allow it once you turn 21. However, parents can open custodial accounts for their children regardless of how young their kids are.
Banks often have special terms for custodial accounts, also known as Uniform Transfers to Minors Act accounts, with far lower minimum deposits required. Funds in the account are treated by the bank as property of the minor, but the custodian is responsible for managing the funds until the child comes of age. Once that milestone birthday is reached, a UTMA account transitions into an ordinary savings account.
Follow the Rules
The expectations for the custodian vary between banks. For some, the only role is to sign the agreement that activates the account, and to serve as a guard against improper usage. Others require both parties to show up in person to make withdrawals. Some custodial savings accounts offer debit cards or link the custodial account to the custodian’s other accounts to make ATM transactions easier.