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According to PayPal’s policy, a person must be at least 18 years of age to register for a PayPal account. “PayPal does not offer services to minors under the age of 18, nor do we accept registrations from persons under 18.”
Over 50 million students attend high school or college in the US, which means several million students would like to have a PayPal account. However, opening a PayPal account does not always work out, especially for those under 18.
To ensure that minors are not gambling or making other risky purchases with a PayPal account, PayPal rules require that a person be at least 18 to open an account. It is illegal to enter into a contract unless you are an emancipated minor, meaning that you are considered financially independent and have the right to form contracts in your own name.
If a recipient who is younger than 18 wants to open an account, a parent or legal guardian must sign up for the account. This adult will be legally responsible for the account and act as the primary account holder.
Why does PayPal have an age limit?
It was possible to open a PayPal student account some few years ago, but all that changed beginning from November 15, 2016, after PayPal discontinued the service. According to this PayPal user agreement page, You are not allowed to open an account if you are under the age of 18: “If you are an individual, you must be a resident of one of the countries/regions listed on the PayPal Worldwide page and at least 18 years old, or the age of majority in your country/region of residence to open a PayPal account and use the PayPal services.”
Due to the age limit, young people that want to open an account may be forced to use traditional banking services. As they are only allowed to open an account if they are under 18-years-old, they may have to wait until they become adults in order to use PayPal.
PayPal alternatives for under 18
But you don’t have to wait till you are 18 years and above as PayPal isn’t the only option. There are many other interesting Paypal alternatives for those under 18s.
Google Pay is an impressive PayPal alternative if you are under 18 – formally called Google Wallet but now combined with Android Pay and rebranded as Google Pay.
Anyone from 13 years and above can use Google Pay provided that a parent gives permission and accept the terms. All the parents need to do is add a bank or credit card to the Google Pay account.
Google Pay is free and available for iOS and Android. It’s simple to set up for kids and teenagers. Users can transfer money online, split expenses with family or friends, or make group payments.
Another plus for Google Pay is the massive adoption by many retailers now accepting it without the need to swipe or use your credit card.
Wells Fargo Clear Access Banking
Wells Fargo Clear Access Banking account is another attractive alternative to PayPal if you are a teenager between ages 13 and 18. This account requires a minimum deposit of $25 and a monthly service fee of $5 (waived for primary account owners).
As a teenage account holder, you’ll get a contactless debit card with zero liability protection which you can use to deposits and withdraw cash from over 13,000 fee-free Wells Fargo ATMs across the country. You can also check your balance using the Wells Fargo Mobile app, pay bills online, get access to Budgeting, cash flow, and spending tools.
Age requirement: If you are between 13 to 16 years, you’ll need an adult co-owner to be able to open this account. 18 years and above can open an account online.
Chase High School Checking
This is a great option if you are under the age of 18. The Chase High School Checking account is available for students between 13 to 17 years old. No monthly service fee, plus you get many other benefits, including a visa debit card for cash deposits and withdrawals, 24/7 fraud monitoring on purchases, and more.
To open this account as an under 18, you’ll need your parent or guardian as a co-owner and the account linked to the parent or guardian’s personal checking account.
Once you turn 19, your Chase High School Checking account will upgrade to a Chase Total Checking account or other better option if you’re moving on to college, such as the Chase College Checking account for students between 17 to 24 years old, with no monthly fees for up to 5 years.
Alliant offers a checking account for teens between 13 to 17 years old that requires joint ownership with your parents, who must also be an Alliant member. There are no minimum balance and no monthly fees. You get access to online/mobile banking through the Alliant mobile app. You’ll also receive interest rates more than twice above similar teen bank accounts. Additionally, you’ll get a contactless Visa debit card.
Minors and teens under 18 years old can open a checking account at Huntington Bank. All they’ll need is someone over 18 years to co-sign or a joint account holder.
Huntington Bank also offers savings account for children and teens at any age. You only need to provide identification and be able to sign your name.
PayPal student account
There was a PayPal Student account some years back, but PayPal stopped offering that service because no one under 18 years old could legally enter into a contract in the United States.
According to PayPal, “We will continue to explore ways to serve our younger population in the future. If the student is over 18 years old, we invite them to sign up for a PayPal.”
If you open a PayPal account under 18 and PayPal finds out, your account can get permanently banned with access to all your remaining funds blocked. So if you are under 18 and currently operate a PayPal account, it’s best to transfer all your PayPal funds now and close the account.
Can I get PayPal at 17?
You can’t get PayPal at 17. You have to be 18 years and above with full capacity to legally enter into a contract to open and use a PayPal account.
What happens if you have a PayPal account under 18?
Having a PayPal account under 18 is against PayPal’s policy and rules, but it’s not illegal since the basic requirement to have a PayPal account is an email address. But PayPal is not your only option; there are several other alternatives to PayPal. If PayPal finds out you have an account under 18, they can permanently ban your account with access to all your remaining funds blocked.
Can minors use PayPal?
Minors cannot use PayPal. You must be at least 18 years old to open a PayPal account and use any of its services.
Can 16 year old have PayPal?
A 16-year old cannot have a PayPal account according to PayPal’s policy which states that a person must be at least 18 to open an account and use the PayPal services.
As of right now, PayPal does not allow users who are under the age of 18 to open up their own account. This is most likely because PayPal wants to avoid any legal issues that may come up if something were to happen with an underage user.
There have been many cases in the past where companies have gotten into trouble because they did not properly vet their users, and PayPal does not want to be one of those companies. There is a possibility that PayPal may change its policy in the future, but as of right now, users who are under 18 are not allowed to open up their own account.
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