When, and how, to give your teen a credit card

Is your teenager ready for a credit card? If so, how can you keep the spending from spiraling out of control? Take this advice from the National Foundation for Credit Counseling:

Consider giving your child a credit card linked to yours. “Not only will your teen inherit your good credit rating, but it will also allow you to see how much they are spending,” the foundation said. A good plan is to tell teens at first to use the card only for emergencies. If they show they can handle that limitation, allow spending that they can fully pay off with the first bill.

Review spending each month. “When the bill arrives, sit down and review your statement with them so that you can make sure they understand how to read them,” the foundation said. Point out how interest can accrue if the bill is not paid off every month. Explain the importance of building and maintaining good credit.

Use an online payoff calculator to show your child how long it will take to pay off a credit card debt. “Since credit cards have very high interest rates, teach your teen that paying the minimum payment will keep the debt growing — even if no other purchases are made,” the foundation said.

Teach your child about the dangers of credit card fraud and identity theft. Be sure to tell teenagers never to lend their credit cards to someone else, leave receipts lying out in the open or give their card number over the phone to questionable callers.

Resist the urge to bail out teenagers who spend too much. Go over their options with them — getting a job, working more hours, cutting back on spending. Consider setting up an appointment with a credit counselor. You can find counselors through the NFCC by calling 800-388-2227.

More in Herald Business Journal

Peoples, HomeStreet banks bump lowest salaries after tax cut

The banks with Snohomish County branches will raise minimum salaries for employees to $15 an hour.

Electroimpact cuts Mukilteo staff by 9 percent

“What we’re missing now is a monster anchor project,” the company’s VP said.

Exotic animals find compassionate care in Bothell (video)

At the Center for Bird and Exotic Animal Medicine, vets treat snakes, hedgehogs and even kangaroos.

How can you tell if you are getting good financial advice?

Assume that it’s still the same buyer-beware market that has always existed.

Amanda Strong (left) tries on an Angel of the Winds Arena hat as she and Courtney Brown hand out gift bags after the renaming ceremony Dec. 13 in Everett. The new name replaces the Xfinity name. (Andy Bronson / Her file)
Angel of the Winds to break ground on $60M casino expansion

“We think we’re on the cusp of becoming a major resort.”

In this Dec. 20, 2017, photo, a clerk reaches to a shelf to pick an item for a customer order at the Amazon Prime warehouse, in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)
Amazon’s potential HQ2 sites leaves many cities disappointed

And yet, some municipal leaders are looking at the bright side of being rejected.

How do you retrieve an errant Boeing 737 from a muddy slope?

Turkish authorities used cranes to lift a plane that skidded off a runway.

Don’t take economic forecasts to the bank — or the casino

Air travel delays could spur a rebirth of passenger rail service.

Emirates orders 20 more Airbus A380 jumbos, saving program

The Dubai carrier also has options to buy 16 more. The program seems safe until 2029.