High School Student Credit Cards: Ingenious Opportunity or Disaster Waiting to Happen?
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Ask any student what they think about high school student credit cards and you'll get pretty much the same answer – everyone wants one. However, take a minute to ask some parents that very same question and you'll get quite the variety of answers thrown at you (many of them very different from the answers given by the students).
Some parents think high school student credit cards are a wonderful learning opportunity for their children while other parents feel it's just too much temptation and too much responsibility at too young an age. Who's right? Depending on the child, both sides may be.
Forget The Mold
Through history, parents and teachers have been trying to fit students into the same mold. It was not until recently that everyone started understanding that different students needed different approaches for learning.
Using high school student credit cards to teach financial responsibility is no exception to this rule.
While it's true that some students really are not ready for high school student credit cards, many other students can learn valuable lessons from having them.
Why should you consider high school student credit cards for your child? First of all, they can provide you with the opportunity to teach your child about being responsible about using a credit card at a very young age, preventing credit problems in the future.
In addition to responsible spending, student credit cards can also teach money management and bill paying skills.
While you may have nightmares of your daughter running to the mall and buying a designer wardrobe or your son heading to the electronics store and amassing serious debt, high school student credit cards do not have to be scary.
Laying Down The Law
What's the secret to a good experience with student credit cards? It all comes down to boundaries. If you're going to put high school student credit cards into the hands of a teen, you absolutely must lay down some rules.
First and foremost, make sure your child knows exactly what he or she can charge and what is not permitted. Then set a weekly spending limit and let your child know that if he or she needs to exceed that limit for any reason, they must first get your permission. This will prevent any unexpected surprises when the credit card statement comes in.
Further, make sure there are serious consequences for not following the rules – and that your child understands them.
By discussing the responsibilities of high school student credit cards with your child and establishing rules and boundaries right from the start, your student's transition from a cash world to one of plastic high school student credit cards can be handled effectively and responsibly, paving the way for a bright financial future.