There is no legal age limit at which you can open a bank account but a bank manager can decide whether to allow a child or young person to open an account. There are restrictions on opening certain kinds of account, for example, as a young person you are not normally legally responsible for your debts so you are unlikely to be granted an overdraft.

If you are under 18, it is a criminal offence for anyone to send you material inviting you to borrow money or obtain goods or services on credit or hire purchase. However, if you are over 14 but under 18, you can enter into a credit or hire purchase agreement if an adult acts as your guarantor.


As a child or young person, you cannot normally be taken to court for debt. This is because you cannot be legally held to a contract you make when you are under 18. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. You can be held legally responsible for any debts you run up to buy things that you need like food, shelter or clothing.

Buying goods and services

When you buy goods or services, you have the same rights as an adult if something goes wrong.

Budgeting for college or university

Check out details from the Money Advice Service for details on what your expenses could be for college or university.

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