YouThrive Student Checking

YouThrive Student Checking Accounts

Eligible teens in Syracuse can now get their own checking account -- including a debit card! Read on to learn more about the YouThrive Student Checking Account, who can open one, and how to apply.

To open a checking account, students must be age 16 to 24, and must be participating in a summer youth program with CNY Works, the City of Syracuse, the Good Life Foundation, Planned Parenthood or another Cooperative Federal partner.

Savings accounts are available to students age 14 or 15, and students not enrolled in a participating summer program. Read more about Accounts for Kids & Teens.

Applying online is quick and easy! After your account application is submitted, a Coop Fed representative will contact you to finish the process and give you your account number. Be sure to watch for email updates. If you need help, send us an email.

To open an account, you'll need to have your Social Security Number as well as a Photo ID. For ID, we accept:

  • School ID plus Proof of Address (example: Student Summary from SCSD School Tool or any mail addressed to you); or
  • Valid, un-expired, government-issued ID (driver's license, state ID, passport, etc.)

Having a bank account is a really big responsibility, and there is a lot you need to know. Please read this information carefully before you apply -- and don't forget to review the disclosures that you'll receive when you apply for the account.

  • MEMBERSHIP. To join the YouThrive Student account program, you must become a member of Cooperative Federal and open a student savings account as well as a student checking account.
    • You can choose to only get a savings account, but you can't get a checking account without also having a savings account.
    • Membership is what makes credit unions different than banks! Credit unions are non-profits that are owned and controlled by their members.
  • FIRST DEPOSIT. Activating your account takes $7. This includes a $2 one-time fee (waived if you open your account online!), and a $5 savings deposit.
    • You are required to keep at least $5 in your savings account.
    • There is no minimum balance for checking accounts.
    • If you sign up for direct deposit of your paycheck, your first deposit can be covered by your first paycheck.
  • FEES. There is no monthly fee for student accounts. View our complete fee schedule.
  • DEBIT CARDS. Once your student checking account is opened, you will get a debit card.
    • The debit card is linked to your checking account and can be used online, at ATMs, or in stores as "debit" or "credit." The debit card will be mailed to your house about 2 weeks after the account is opened, and a PIN for the debit card will also be mailed to you separately.
    • You can change your PIN in person at a Coop Fed branch.
    • Never, ever share your PIN with anyone. Never write it down or leave it where someone can find it, for example on your card or in your wallet.
    • There is NO FEE to use your card at a ShareNet ATM. Other ATMs will charge a fee to your account.
    • There is a daily limit of $300 on debit card purchases, and $310 on ATM withdrawals. If you need to request a one-time exception, please ask in advance!
  • ​PAYMENTS & WITHDRAWALS. You can also spend money from your account through apps like PayPal and Venmo, through Coop Fed's Online Bill Pay platform, and through electronic payments using your account number and routing number. Or, you can get cash, money orders, or teller checks in person at any Coop Fed office.
    • Checkbooks are not available for student accounts.
    • If you overdraft your account (by spending more than you have available), your account will be blocked and may ultimately be closed.
      • If you try to spend more money than you have in your account, the purchase will usually be declined -- but not always.
      • The best way to avoid an overdraft is to keep your own record of deposits and withdrawals. Checking your balance online or in the mobile app can also help, but certain purchases may not appear right away. Or, you can move money from your savings account to your checking account.
  • DEPOSITS. Don't forget to make deposits! You can put money into your account using direct deposit or through our mobile app (simply take a photo of your check!). Or, you can make deposits in person, by mail, or by dropbox at any Coop Fed office. ​
    • You can't deposit checks that have a different person as the payee ("third party" checks).
      • Life lesson: You should never deposit a check for someone else into your account. If the check ends up being rejected, you are responsible for the debt. It doesn't matter whether there was an honest mistake, or intentional fraud, and there are a LOT of check scams out there. Don't take any chances, even for people you know and trust.
    • When you deposit cash, payroll checks, government checks, or checks issued by Coop Fed, funds are immediately available. Other checks can be subject to holds - you'll get all of these details in disclosures when you open your account.
  • BANKING ON THE GO. Use our self-service options to make banking easier! With Online Banking and Mobile App, you can check balances, review your account history, make transfers between checking and saving, use Online Bill Pay, and more.
    • Automatic transfers to your savings account are the BEST way to save up money for the future! You can use Online Banking to set up and manage automatic transfers.
  • LOST/STOLEN CARDS or SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITY. If you can't find your card, let us know right away. We'll help you put a block on your card, order a new card, and help determine if it's advisable to change your PIN. If you notice a suspicious charge on your account, first call the store where the payment was made, and then -- let us know about that too! We will help you dispute the charge, if needed. It's usually best to get a new card, as well.
    • Always review your transactions in Online Banking, the Mobile App, and/or your monthly account statement to make sure all of the activity appears legit. Ask us for help if you see anything questionable -- large or small. Sometimes fraudsters will make small transactions first to see if you notice!
    • The credit union's card system automatically checks for activity that is "out of the ordinary." If you're traveling outside of Central New York, call before you leave. We'll note the dates and location of your travels in our system, to prevent your card from being automatically blocked.
  • PARENTS OPTIONAL. You are not required to have a parent or guardian on this account, but you can add them if you would like. If your parent is a joint member, they have full access to deposits, withdrawals and account information.

Need help?

We're here to assist! If you have questions or need guidance, call Member Services or send us a message.