Getting a credit card early in life may look like a mistake, but it’s not. It’s a great way to create credit history and make sure that you have an awesome credit score when you really need it. This being said, teenagers still need some guidance, to help them better understand how credit cards work and why it’s so important to be a smart and responsible user. If you’re a responsible parent and if you want to find the best credit cards for teens, you should probably know this:
At this age, your children should probably have either a debit card or a prepaid card. This way, they can learn how to use these useful financial tools, without causing any damage. Even if they make some mistakes, which they probably will, there’s really no chance that they will affect your score or their future scores. Not to mention that you’ll be able to supervise your child’s activity and it will also make it easier for you to pay allowance. In the end, your child will learn how to budget, save and use plastic responsibly.
Teens tend to be more responsible and more mature than tweens, but that doesn’t mean that you let them use credit cards without supervision. The dangers of credit card debt are real. That’s why it’s important to add your child as an authorized user on one of your accounts. A teen under the age of 18 can’t get a credit card in his or her own name anyway.
Once you do this, your child gains credit history, which will be really useful when he or she needs to qualify for a traditional credit card. And, of course, you still have full control of supervision of the account, as the primary account holder. Just don’t forget that you’re still responsible for the account. If something goes wrong, both your score and that of your child’s will take a hit.
Young Adults (18+)
Older teens, over the age of 18, can get their own credit cards. But this greater power comes with an even greater responsibility. That’s why you, the parent, should advise your teen to start with secured cards or student cards.
A secured card comes with a credit limit based on the site of a security deposit. The deposit is used as a collateral against default. Meanwhile, a student card comes with no cash deposite. It’s just a traditional credit card tailored to students or first-timers, but it offers a modest credit limit.
It’s never too late to learn how to use a credit card the right way. It doesn’t matter if you’re a teen or a senior, there’s always something new to learn.