5 ways to start your kids off right with credit cards

by Shelton on September 27th, 2015

filed under Student Credit Cards

2. Add your teen to your card as an authorized user. Open a new credit card account (with a low credit limit) with your teen. Then be sure to set up online access so the two of you can regularly review spending online. Make sure the credit usage is being reported under her Social Security number as well as your own. You will have the incentive to monitor her spending — because your credit could be impacted!

3. Get a student credit card. Go to Bankrate.com and search for special student credit cards. [http://www.bankrate.com/credit-cards/student-cards.aspx] Youll find that major card issuers, including Discover, Capital One and Citibank, have created cards especially for students with rewards features that include free FICO credit scores — and, in the case of Discover, a $20 cash-back feature for each year the students grade point average is above 3.0.

4. Get a secured card. Many card issuers offer these VISAs and MasterCards, which require a savings deposit in the issuing bank. The credit limit is the amount of the savings deposit. Use the card regularly, and pay in full and on time, and those credit habits will be reported to the credit bureau, starting to build a good credit report. Secured cards can be used like any other card, allowing you to withdraw cash at ATMs or pay for purchases.

5. Consider VisaBuxx, the card built for young people and parents. The card is linked to the parents account so it can automatically be refilled when the money runs out! Meanwhile, both parent and student can instantly view all transactions online. So if the student calls home for a refill because books were too expensive, Mom can see that a lot of money went to the campus bar and grill! Go to www.VisaBuxx.com for links to issuing banks.

And a final thought: Now that youve enabled your teen or college student to use credit and start to manage their own financial future: Let them learn the whole lesson! Dont be quick to bail them out when theyve reached their limit. Suggest they get a part-time job to earn extra money to pay down the balance. If you kids learn those lessons early — when they are painful but less costly — they will have a much easier time in later life. And thats The Savage Truth.

(Terry Savage is a registered investment adviser and the author of four best-selling books, including The Savage Truth on Money. Terry responds to questions on her blog at TerrySavage.com.)


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