Many parents are skeptical about providing credit cards to their young kids. However, student credit cards are wonderful tools in establishing an early credit history. With the right guidance from their parents, students can use their credit cards to their advantage while avoiding bad debt.
Money Management Lessons Can Start Early
Introducing basic financial management techniques to kids will help them become more prepared in handling their personal finances in the future. Teaching kids to save money from their allowances is a good way to develop their money skills. Instead of giving money for school on a daily basis, older kids may be given a weekly or monthly allowance so they can budget their own money.
Parents should become role models for their kids and money matter isn’t an exception. Children often look up to their parents and if your kids can see how you manage your finances, it shouldn’t be difficult to share with them financial management tips that you practice in your own household.
Kids who are in high school should already be aware of what a credit report is and its importance. When ordering a copy of their individual credit reports, parents can show it to their kids and discuss the contents of the document. Teach your kids about the categories in your credit report and explain why it’s important to build a good credit rating. Parents must see to it that their kids understand the credit report before they be allowed to have their own credit cards.
Obtaining a Student Credit Card
Youngsters who have graduated in high school are often the best candidates for student credit cards. Although some parents choose to give their kids credit cards while still in high school, many college students apply for their own credit cards in college. Take note that having a credit card at this point is essential for building personal credit history.
Parents play a big role in helping their kids make the right credit card choice. As a card holder themselves, parents can recommend specific issuers that they can consider. Since it will be the first time that your kid will own a credit card, you can guide them through the whole process of comparing different student credit cards, weighing choices, down to submitting their credit card application.
Many issuers of student credit cards do not require a cosigner for the applicant as long as he/she is at least 18 years old. This means, a college student can get obtain a credit card for student with or without parent’s permission. Hence, it’s best for parents to volunteer in helping their kids find the right credit card with the best deal.
Guidance should not end with choosing the best credit card for college. Parents should share their own experiences in managing a credit card account. Of course, students must be constantly reminded to pay their bills on time and use their credit cards with discretion. Last but not the least, parents should encourage their kids to maintain a balanced point of view with regards to money issues as doing so will protect them from the dangers of bad debt.
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