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Ask the Experts

Ask The Experts

Q:
Worried about childs access to credit cards

My “babies” are headed for college in a few years. I am worried about their access to credit cards. Is there any way I can prevent them from getting into debt? They have good intentions, but with so much freedom, I still worry. -Maggie

It’s unfortunate that young adults are now entering a world where they don’t have time to learn financial skills gradually. Often they become victims of poor credit and debt practices before they realize how it even happened.

This first and most important step is to examine your own attitudes about money. This is extremely important because your children learn more from what they see you do than from what you tell them.

Also, I recommend sitting down and having a frank discussion with you children about money. Many students don't realize that their credit can effect more than their ability to get more credit card. It can also directly impact their ability to get a job, apartment, car, and insurance. Once they are on their own, be sure to keep the lines of communication open.

Do take the time to show them how to “manage” a checking account. Yes it should be easy since it is just addition and subtraction but young people need a hand on demonstration. Using a debit card is easy and convenient but also can loose track of the transaction.

Good luck,

The Advice Team