The answer to this question could be good or bad for your teen. The outcome would depend on if your teen is responsible, and would have the ability to pay a credit card bill they may receive in a timely manner. By doing that, your teen will be on a path to building good credit for the future. However, if your teen is, or decides to become irresponsible by running up their credit card balances by not paying their bill, this could result in a negative credit history early in their life. You wouldn’t want your teen to be subjected to this. So here are some tips and information on whether or not your teen should get that credit card:
1) My teen just started college and just received his new credit card in the mail with a credit line of $ 500, how should he use this card? First, your teen needs to be responsible with his new credit card and ensure that his payments will be made on time to establish a good payment and credit history. Your teen will also want to keep his credit card charges to a minimum as well!
2) Should my teen apply for more than one credit card? Yes. Your teen should consider applying for two credit cards. However, make sure your teen pays their monthly credit card balance in full and timely!
3) Why are credit card companies so hungry to get my teen to sign up for a credit card? Usually, when your teen starts college, the credit card companies know that your teen doesn’t have a credit card and will probably need a card to make purchases on or off campus. They also figure that your teen will most likely pay the minimum payment due. If your teen lets the balance on their credit card increase over time, then the credit card company gets to collect all that interest from your teen!
4) What if my teen’s credit card balance gets too high, what should I do? If that happens, you may be stuck paying your teen’s debt! Some credit card companies love this. That means they may get all of their money sooner if the credit card is paid off by the parent. Teach your teen to be responsible for paying off their credit card balance each month. If they can’t afford the bill, then don’t charge the item!
5) What alternatives are there for my teen if they don’t want to get a credit card? A good alternative is a debit card usually issued by their bank. The debit card will have a Visa or MasterCard logo and can be used like a credit card. The catch to this is that your teen will be using money from their own bank account when a charge is made. So make sure that your teen understands this and they are aware that the money they are charging on their debit card, must be in their bank account. Another good alternative to using a credit card for your teen is a stored value card that has a Visa or MasterCard logo on the card. The stored value card has a certain amount of money on the card that your teen can use when they charge a particular item. Once your teen has used up the balance they have on the stored value card, they are not able to charge anything else.
Overall, a credit card is a good thing for your teen to have. This is a good way for your teen to start learning how to manage their personal finances. They will be able to build a solid credit history and will reap the benefits of being responsible with their credit cards for many years to come!
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