Should Your Teenager
Have A Student Credit Card?

A student credit card for your teenager can be a dangerous thing. Unless you have unlimited money to spend, most teens don't have that much perception of how not to overspend. They see something they want and consider it a need just because their peers have it. Before they know it, they've bought the most expensive variety that has even more features than the ones their friend have. And you are left to foot the bill for many years to come.

Unless you have been careful to teach your teen from childhood how to spend or rather, not spend money, giving your teen a student credit card is not a good idea. Even if your teenager has shown maturity in this area before, the fact of actually having a credit card of their own can make them break out and overspend when they didn't mean to.

You may think that by giving your teen a student credit card, you will be teaching them how to be responsible with money. If this is what you want to do, start them off with a debit card instead. With a debit card, you spend only what you have in your account, rather than borrowing someone else's money. They could have an account with a few hundred dollars in it - only if you can afford it, of course. You could tell them that this has to last them till the end of the year. In this way, they will have to own the responsibility of their financial decisions.

Of course, a lot depends on the age of your teen. A thirteen year old can't be expected to have the same maturity in making decisions as someone who is eighteen. It may be that your eighteen year old is going off to college and needs access to money to pay for fees and textbooks, not to mention paying for accommodations. In this case, it may be a good idea to allow them to have a college student credit card, but be sure it is one with a credit limit.

It is better to encourage your teen to get a part-time job rather than just give them a college student credit card. They will appreciate their money a great deal more if they have to work for it, the same as you do. They will be able to see why you don't have unlimited amounts of cash to throw away, just because you have a job that may pay well. This will be good training for their future and when they may be able to get a credit card of their own they will use it with more respect.

For the teen looking for a way to generate income year round, here's a way to build a thriving online business and really pump up a resumé as well. No work experience, technical knowledge needed, just a positive attitude and ideas to share.

As of February 2010 those 21 years old or younger
must get a co-signer on a credit card ...

College And Student Credit Cards - From A Graduate

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