Financial Briefs

Email This Article To A Friend

Teens And Credit: Five Important Lessons

One of the greatest gifts parents can give their teen-age children is how to create and use credit. Used properly, credit can be the great financial equalizer: you don’t have to be rich to get the most out of your money.

Getting this information to your children can be simple if you start early enough and teach it to them in a manner they can understand. The best place to start is at home before they get jobs.

Here are five things you can teach your children about creating a good credit history. Tell them:

First, pay off all credit cards at the end of the month so you don’t have to pay interest, which can double or even triple the cost of your purchases.

Second, know the difference between good credit and bad credit. Paying all bills on time is vital in creating good credit. Also, good credit will get you lower interest-payment rates and can even help you land a job.

Third, use credit cards that offer rewards or points, such as those that give cash back on purchases of gasoline, airlines tickets, certain restaurants, etc.

Fourth, tell your children about any bad credit decisions you have made so they, too, can learn from your mistakes.

And fifth, give them access to a credit card so they can learn by actual usage.