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Introducing Your Child to the World of Credit Unions

There are a few basic terms that all children should be aware of before they will truly understand how their savings account works.

Deposit – The act of putting money into your account. Also, the sum of money being placed in your account.

Withdrawal – The act of taking money out of your account. Also, the sum of money taken from your account.

Dividends (Interest) – Money the credit union pays you for keeping your money with them.

Give your child a tour of the credit union. Explain that teller windows are where deposits and withdrawals are made, and the desk areas are for longer transactions such as opening accounts or applying for loans. Depending on their age, you may also want to show them how to use an ATM machine for deposits and withdrawals. Regardless of the location, make sure you teach them about physical security and keeping their personal information secure, such as their account number.

You'll want to show them how to keep track of their balance - by viewing their receipt when a deposit or withdrawal has been completed. Teach them to keep all important account documents in a safe place and hold on to receipts until they receive their monthly statement and verify all of the transactions are accurate.

If you allow them access to their account online, this is a great tool to help them follow their budget (by monitoring spending and saving). If your child is older and has their own checking account, viewing their account online can also help them learn how to balance a checkbook. (In the world of debit cards and ATMs, very few youth actually carry checks and balance a checkbook. However, the principles are the same and they should learn to verify the accuracy of their accounts on a regular basis.)

As credit unions are not only places to deposit and withdrawal your money, and depending on the age of your child, it may be time to explain the concept of loans and credit. Additionally, most credit unions offer financial education to help achieve your goals, even as an adult. Make sure your child knows how to find these resources online and how to call, or visit the branch for help.

The credit union philosophy is "people helping people". We are here to help your child build the foundation for a successful financial future.