Tips for Parents: Help Teens Manage Student Credit Cards

A lot of teenagers find it difficult to control their credit card purchases. As soon as they get their very first credit card, they tend to use it as frequently as they can. Some teenagers swipe their cards to buy whatever they like – the latest albums, movie or concert tickets, and of course the trendiest clothes they can get their hands on. As they keep charging purchases on their cards, they will just start worrying about their obligations when their parents receive the financial statements of their credit card accounts.

But despite the scenario above, parents still need to train their children how they should manage their first credit cards. After all, the way they handle their finances and credit lines today will show how they will manage their finances as adults in the future.

But what should parents teach their teenage children regarding credit card management? What tips can they give their teenagers in handling student credit cards? We have listed some tips below.

Tips for Parents: Help Teens Manage Their First Credit Card

  1. Understand the concepts of interest rate and fees. Some teenagers only look at the cost of items. They do not really think about interest rates and fees imposed on credit cards for students. Thus, parents need to patiently explain to their young kids what these items mean. Show them how rates of interest and penalties can cause a small debt to balloon out. This way, they can understand why it is important to avoid incurring debts as much as they can.
  2. Determine a need over a want. Teens do not usually understand what is necessary and what is unnecessary. They just follow their desire to buy the products they like. But if they will continue doing this, for sure they will accumulate large credit card debts. So, parents need to address this issue. They have to point out what is really needed over what is just wanted. This can help their teenage kids determine which purchases they can charge on their credit cards for students.
  3. Responsibly handle credit card accounts. It is also important to teach teens to pay charges in full and on time. Parents should be responsible in explaining to their children the importance of paying debt charges on time. Instruct them how this affects their credit scores. This way parents can encourage their young kids to work on building and maintaining good credit history.
  4. Come up with a monthly budget. Teenagers also need to know the importance of budgeting. They should be responsible in identifying their daily and even monthly expenses as against their cash allowances. This way they will know where their money goes each day and each month. A personal budget will also help young kids to cut unnecessary expenses, especially when they go over their allocated allowances. This is a vital money-handling skill that your children can certainly use when they become adults.

Teach your teenagers these four tips in managing student credit cards and for sure you will help them become financially-stable and responsible individuals.

About the Author

Samantha Wilson is a consultant for credit cards for students. For years she has written student credit card articles that would help build student credit.

Copyright 2010

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