Teens & Credit Cards

Avatar for cmkristy
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-05-2005
Teens & Credit Cards
Mon, 10-21-2013 - 8:02am

During the late teen years, it seems as if there's a new rite of passage every day. Among the scariest for many parents is picturing their carefree teen with a credit card. How do you know your teen is ready for the responsibilities that come with handling that shiny new piece of plastic?

4 signs your teen isn't ready for a credit card- http://money.msn.com/credit-cards/4-signs-your-teen-isnt-ready-for-a-credit-card

Where do you stand on this issue?  When do you feel it is appropriate for a teen to have a credit card?

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Community Leader
Registered: 07-26-1999
Mon, 10-21-2013 - 12:26pm
My teen is off at college now, and I am glad that she does have one for emergencies, and while not everyone agrees that you need a credit score, at this age, building one is important if she wants do a few things in the future like renting an apartment.
Avatar for mahopac
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-1997
Mon, 10-21-2013 - 3:26pm

It's appropriate for people to have ONE credit card when they are at a point in their lives where they can't buy everything with cash.  If you raised them with the right attitude toward money, this should be sometime in college. They also need to be mature enough to not lose a credit card.

Both my college students use my Amex and Amazon accounts to buy what they need online, but they always get my approval first.  Their bank accounts are linked to mine, so when they buy something using my accounts, I just transfer the money from their bank accounts to mine. 

I am just about to add 21yo DS to my Mastercard so he will have his own card.  He needs a way to pay for bus/train tickets, mostly, but also as a college senior he's out and about in the world and online more than he was as a freshman/sophomore.  Online, you can't use cash and debit cards are too risky.

My biggest fear is not that they will use the cards irresponsibly, because they are very responsible about money.  It's that they will lose the actual card.