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  Home & Family Finance Resource Center

Teach Your Student About Credit Cards

Michelle M. Haas-Dosher, CCUFC / February 5th, 2018

Your student might be vulnerable to financial trouble if you don’t talk to him or her about credit cards. Without any knowledge of how credit works, your student could easily sign up for a bad deal just to get a free T-shirt. Make these messages loud and clear to students before letting them fly the nest:

  • Swiping your card has consequences. As easy as one swipe is, credit is not free. At the end of the month you’ll literally have to pay the price of excessive impulse buying.
  • Comparison shop before committing. Look for providers that have low interest rates or finance charges and low or no annual fees. Your credit union is a great place to get a good deal.
  • Limit yourself from the get-go. There is no reason that a student should have a credit limit that exceeds $1,000.
  • Use credit cards for emergencies only. And no—finding the last pair of shoes in your size does not constitute an emergency.
  • Watch your balance. It’s important to pay your bill in full every month in order to maintain a good credit score. Make sure you don’t charge too much on your card in any given month.
  • Bad credit will affect your future. If you don’t use your credit card responsibly, you might not get insurance, a loan, an apartment, or even a job.

As a parent, it is up to you whether or not you are willing to bail your child out of credit card trouble. Your son might ask you for money if he charges more than he can pay off. While it can be tempting to help your children out, having them figure out a way to pay it off could provide a valuable financial lesson.


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