Parents have a responsibility to educate children on financial responsibility and how to budget. Be aware that credit card companies are and will target your children the moment they arrive on the college campuses nationwide. Education is key.
Checking accounts are a great tool in working with children of all ages on how to balance accounts and learn the value of money. Most banks offer debit cards which can be used as a credit cards but without interest or fees. Reiterate that it is essential to write down each transaction. For young children, use your account as an example.
Credit card companies can legitimately charge higher interest rates and fees for at-risk cardholders. College students are exactly that. Many graduating college students owe a tremendous amount when they leave campus, a cause for stress-related health problems and depression in young adults. Parents should inform children of cardholding risks and benefits. When a credit card unexpectedly arrives in the mail, it is of course tempting to use it for other more spontaneous expenses. Credit cards go from a financial convenience to being a financial burden.
Compile a list of reasons to use a credit card, such as for emergencies. Encourage children to pay off the bill in full if possible. If not, pay more than the required amount. As always, encourage an open line of communication with your children when it comes to finances. Educating children about financial woes can only help protect them from being lured into a financial fall.
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