Should Your Teenager Have a Credit Card? | CreditShout

Should Your Teenager Have a Credit Card?

By Kevin / December 16, 2008
Should Your Teenager Have a Credit Card?


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In the world that we live in today, every one seems to own a credit card or two, even teenagers. There really is no exact answer to the question of whether or not that your teenager should have a credit card or not. Yt’s a matter of parental preference.

Today’s teenagers have mostly everything from digital cameras to iPods to cell phones. They are more adept at using the internet and creating Facebook accounts than most adults do these days.

With such technology savvy young adults, it should be no problem handling a credit card, right?

The answer will depend on how well these young men and women have been raised and the amount of responsibility that they have.

After all, everything that they own may have been handed to them without having to work for it. If this is the case with your teenager, there is more learning for them to do and it will be up to you to teach them.

As parents, we already try our best to teach our children while they are young to respect others and themselves, have manners and good etiquette, and also to be a responsible part of society.

Money management and the responsibility that comes with having a credit card should be taught as well. Equally important is to teach them the consequences of the mismanagement of money.

The basic lesson is that good money management has rewards and bad money management has consequences; it’s the difference between good choices and bad choices.

Whenever you give your child money of their own to spend or save, such as an allowance, it will give them a feeling of responsibility and they will learn the value of a dollar. You should make your children aware that the amount of money that you give them will only come once a week, so it will be up to them to save it for a bigger purchase or spend it.

If they choose to spend the money and need more before the set time frame, they will just have to wait.

You cannot give the child any more money because this will be a lesson of patience for them to learn, and next time they may be more conservative with their money.

Another invaluable training method when teaching financial judgment and management is to allow your child to open a checking account. Make sure that your teenager understands that whenever they use their debit card, that amount will be deducted from their checking account. It will ultimately mean that there must be enough money to pay for the transaction or there will be a fee charged.

A debit card that is attached to their own bank account will be a good trial run for them to see how well they manage their money.

If they have to pay an NSF fee, it should teach them a lesson for their future spending.

Once your teenager has gotten the hang of handling the debit card wisely, you could move up to a credit card that has a minimal credit limit.

Explain every aspect to them including the fact that they may be paying interest on a purchase, late payments will incur fees and are recorded onto their credit reports. Make sure that they understand the direct correlation between having a bad payment history and the inability to get an auto loan or mortgage down the road.

Teaching your teenager good habits with money and giving them a sense of financial responsibility should allow you to rest easy when they do get a credit card of their own.

After all, we live in a world of plastic and teenagers should have an early understanding of the amount of financial discipline that they will need for their future.

The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone.

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