Monday, December 3, 2012

Pam's Picks: Teens & Credit Cards

Teens and credit cards?  That thought could strike fear in the heart of even the bravest parent!  However, it doesn't have to be a bad experience.  The difference between a useful financial tool and a dangerous debt builder boils down to educating your teen about credit cards and debt.  

Here are some useful resources for you:

Brian Page (Ohio's award winning Economics Teacher and creator of Awesome Island, a personal finance game for teens) described his approach to teaching teens about credit cards in Maxed Out.  His insights and tips can be used by parents as well as teachers.

Credit Card
From 401K (2012) on
Money Matters:  A Guide to Teaching Finances to Children on the Bootstrapper Blog from :  This five part series includes a section called Understanding Credit and Credit Cards for Young Adults.  I really appreciate that the author includes practical tips and parameters for easing your teen into responsible credit card management, such as developing contingency plans for overspending.

Barbara Marquand on Fox Business recently tackled this topic in Should You Let Your High Schooler Have a Credit Card?  My favorite advice in this article ties right in with my belief that kids and teens HAVE to practice money management in order to become proficient with handling money. Barbara's words...
Children who have handled a savings account, earned money from household chores or a part-time job, and saved money for special purchases are better prepared for handling financial responsibility than those who haven't had any experience with making and saving money. Make sure your child is grounded in some basic money know-how before handing over a credit card. 
Read more: 

We seem to get credit card offers for our teens in the mail every week.  The latest one offered a $25 annual fee and an interest rate of 29.5%.  These offers get discussed and then promptly shredded.  We still haven't entered the credit card world with our teens.  Our oldest has a debit card and has handled it very responsibly.  However, I still debate whether or not she needs a credit card.  If so, what is the best age to get one?

Does your teen have a credit card?  Has it been a positive experience or a bad experience?


  1. I cannot think of a worse combination than teens and credit cards. Even college age adults get into serious trouble when getting involved with credit cards.