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Why Your Teenager Needs a Credit Card
has an interesting article on why teenagers need a credit card... what are your thoughts?

Fri. Aug 3, 2:29pm

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It's a load of croc. We're just teaching them to use money they don't have instead of working hard to get what they want. Also, with the parents having to co-sign we're the ones stuck if they don't pay the bill and the kids know it. Just another way to make children more spoiled. Let them go without their $100 shoes and starbucks every morning. They don't NEED it. Let them work at min. wage to buy their own car, pay the insurance, buy gas, and with what ever's left then they can buy the extras.Theach responsibility and budgeting not materialism and how to get into debt.

Friday, August 03, 2007, 3:11 PM

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Amazing! Then we wonder why are nation is currently at a negative-savings rate. Teach kids fiscal responsibility the old fashioned way... savings, investing, charity!

Friday, August 03, 2007, 3:29 PM

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I could see giving a credit card to an 18 year-old college student, to pay for books, food, etc (of course with strict limitations)...but a 12-year-old, give me a break!

Friday, August 03, 2007, 3:31 PM

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When I turned 18 I got a credit card to build credit and for emergencies. I quickly learned the power to get what I want right now and just deal with paying for it later was difficult to resist when I had little experience with managing my own money. Credit cards are often like communism. They sound great on paper but in the hands on unwise individuals, they can be disastrous! I wasn't wise enough then to handle it - and I don't think you learn to be wise by using a credit card. You learn the value of money and the importance of saving and delayed gratification through working hard for money and putting it in the bank and not spending too much! Also, I think its important for teenagers to see the numbers on how easy it is to accumulate credit card debt because of high interest rates. If a young college student can't afford their lifestyle, its much wiser to take out a student loan because the interest is lower. Maxing out credit cards is like taking out a really high interest loan.

Friday, August 03, 2007, 3:57 PM

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When I was 16, I got my first credit card. It was entirely in my name, and my parents got me a cute little accounting book so that I could be sure I actually had all the money I was spending.
At the end of the month, I would give my cash to my parents in the amount of the credit card statement (in full), and they would write the check.
Eventually, I got a checking account, too, but this way I never worried about my money being stolen, and I never spent more than I had.
It just depends on the kid and how they understand what a credit card is good for.

Friday, August 03, 2007, 4:08 PM

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First, I had a checking account with an ATM card (not debit), and could put my money in, and take it out. I was probably about 12. Then, I got a debit card (I was probably 15-16; used it for gas, etc.) Then I got a credit card at 17, right before going to college. By this point, I had already been through 2 ways to manage money that forced you to have the money before you used it, so that's what I was used to doing. I preferred my debit card to my credit card for years, as I didnt' have to remember to pay it off, etc. But, the credit card helps to build credit; holding one for a few years, and always paying it off (in full), allowed me to get a great mortgage rate and become a property owner at age 23 (along with my new husband, at the time, who was 24, and who had also had a credit card that he paid in full every month starting at age 18.)

I think children imitate their parents, and what they learn. I always thought, growing up, that credit cards were supposed to be paid off in full every month, because that's what my parents always did. They acted as though it is bad to not pay the full amount, so I never really thought of credit cards as borrowed money, I always thought of them the same as debit cards, but, that in addition, using them responsibly would help you to get things for less money in the future (i.e. my mortgage.)

Yes, if you typically pay the minimum, and carry a balance month-to-month, you will likely end up with a child who does the same. And if your child doesn't listen to you in general, he/she may run up a big bill that they cannot pay as well. But if you have a generally responsible teenager who understands that the purpose of a credit card is to build a good credit rating, and to carry less cash, and to be able to shop certain places where cash doesn't work (i.e. online), but that it needs to be paid every month, then it shouldn't be likely that they'll run up a big bill. It's all in the presentation and expectation.

Friday, August 03, 2007, 4:38 PM

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Credit cards are an important thing in building a credit rating, if kids can be taught to use them properly (amen to 4:38!). A friend of mine was with her family, and a credit card company was giving out free t-shirts if you applied. So everyone in the family filled out an app just to get a free shirt, and everyone was approved (including the 12 and 15 year old) EXCEPT the MOM! She had never had a loan out in her name (just her husband's) and had no credit rating! Of course this is a freak situation but it shows the importance of having a credit card, using it occasionally, and always paying the full balance, as it very much affects your credit rating.

Friday, August 03, 2007, 4:53 PM

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