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

Teddy, an English bulldog, models Zentek Clothing’s heat regulating dog jacket. (Ian Terry / The Herald)
Everett clothing company keeps your dog cool and stylish

Zentek uses space-age fabrics to moderate the temperature of pets and now humans.

Everett engineers learn lessons from Mexico City catastrophe

Structural scientists went to help after the September earthquake there and studied the damage.

Providence Hospital in Everett at sunset Monday night. Officials Providence St. Joseph Health Ascension Health reportedly are discussing a merger that would create a chain of hospitals, including Providence Regional Medical Center Everett, plus clinics and medical care centers in 26 states spanning both coasts. (Kevin Clark / The Daily Herald)
Merger would make Providence part of health care behemoth

Providence St. Joseph Health and Ascension Health are said to be talking. Swedish would also be affected.

Hospital companies merge as insurers encroach on their turf

An anticipated deal between Providence St. Joseph Health and Ascension is only the latest.

DaVita to sell off medical groups including The Everett Clinic

Another round of health care consolidation means The Everett Clinic could soon get new ownership.

Engine trouble hits Air New Zealand’s 787 Dreamliners

A Rolls-Royce engine was shut down and was afterward found to be seriously damaged.

Washington, Amazon sue company over seller training programs

Braintree is accused of using deceptive ads promising information on how to make money on Amazon.

Providence said to be in talks for merger with Ascension

The two Catholic health organizations have been exploring joining forces, sources say.

Lockheed-Martin dominates global arms sales, Boeing is 2nd

The combined sales of U.S.-based companies totaled $217 billion.

Most Read