It's a good idea to get a head start on money matters.
We know what you're thinking, Pittsburgh: Why does a kid, a tween, or a teen need a credit union account? The fact is, they're going to grow up in a flash. That first checking account is a good place for a part-time job paycheck. An early credit card teaches responsible spending. And Saving Certificate dividends might someday help pay for college. At Clearview, we just don't help young people with their finances. We help them prepare for life.
So what kind of things does your kid like? We're guessing pizza and hot dogs, video games and superhero movies, playing sports and maybe taking dance lessons. If they're interested in money, it's probably only in spending it. But it's not too soon to start teaching them its true value.
Let's start simple, with a savings account. Yes, we know what you're thinking: How much money does a small child even have to save? Well, there's that weekly allowance, and cash from birthday or holiday gifts, and for getting good grades. But the point isn't really how much - they only need $10 to get started. The point is they'll see how a savings account lets them earn even more money when dividends are added. And, we hope, they'll develop some patience in saving over time for something they really want.
We also have a special activity for parents. Start saving for college. Now. Yes, your kid might still be a decade away from higher ed. But tuition costs are soaring, and you'll need every year possible to stockpile enough cash. A Coverdell Education Savings Account is a good place to start. Any member of your family – even the grandparents – can pitch in, and you'll enjoy all sorts of tax benefits that your accountant will be happy to explain.
Ah, the early teenage years. A time of change. New interests, new skills, maybe even a new part-time job. Judging from the disorderly state of their bedrooms, you might be skeptical, but many young people are mature enough to take the next step financially.
- At Clearview, we allow young people to open their own checking accounts at age 13. Our Basic Checking comes with no minimum balance requirements or fees to worry about. But it does include a free debit card that will let you teen buy things on their own instead of constantly hitting you up for cash. The card might also provide you with a nice teaching moment, where you explain that money doesn't grow on trees and a little restraint is a good idea.
- Know what you're computer-savvy kid will also like? Our Online Banking tools and Mobile App. These features come free with all of our checking accounts, and they're great ways to develop money management skills. With a few clicks, it will be easy for your teen to track how much each paycheck adds to their balance and how much each shopping trip with friends subtracts from it.
- No teen is going to want the same kind of savings account as their kid brother or sister. Good news. We have a cool way to save that earns more than a regular account. Our Flex Savings Certificate has the advantage of a low opening deposit and lets teens add to it whenever they have at least 25 bucks to spare. And parents, remember our chat about college? It's right around the corner. You might supplement your education account with a 36-, 48-, or 60-month certificate that will mature right about you the time you drop your kid off at the dorm on that first day.
As a parent, your work is almost done. You've nurtured, shared knowledge, instilled values. Your young one is almost ready to strike out on their own. But there is still a little more work to do when it comes to financial matters.
- As high school winds down, it's time to graduate to a new payment form. We're talking credit cards. Our Student Platinum Mastercard can help young people take a giant step on the road to total independence. Not only does it allow for easier shopping at stores and online, but regular payments that bring down the card's balance help beef up your teen's credit rating.
- Yes, this is a time of firsts. Maybe the first time your pride and joy moves away from home. Maybe their first full-time job. And maybe the first set of wheels they call their own. When you're tired of hearing, "Mom, Dad, can I borrow the car tonight?," come to your nearest Clearview location and shop for one of our low-priced auto loans.
- You know all that money you've saved for college? It's probably not going to be enough. Sorry, that's the reality these days. But as always, we're here to help. We invite you and your smart kid to visit our online Student Loan Center, where you can learn all about borrowing intelligently and making other good financial decisions involving college.