We’re guessing that the idea of giving your teen a credit card is equivalent to large amounts of debt. That is not exactly necessary. We live in a credit-driven world, where everything is contactless and cashless. (Thank you, Internet, for the lack of human interaction.) It makes sense that you should have a credit card; you are an adult, after all. But, your teenager? Well, this article might surprise you with its end result.
According to a 2019 – 2020 Federal Reserve study, individuals who have a credit score at 18 have a higher chance of keeping it in the green than individuals who don’t have a credit score until they are 30. (Your mind is blown, isn’t it? You don’t believe it. Then, believe in the Federal Reserve.)
Well, Should You Give a Teen a Credit Card?
There are so many reasons why you should give a teen a credit card. You just have to think of all the benefits that you will get, without thinking of impending doom. (Unless your kid really likes shopping, then you will not be in big trouble.) Let’s say that your teenager got into some trouble and needs some emergency funds. (Maybe they missed the bus and they need to catch a cab, but they do not have money on them.) Rather than walk home, your teenager can just use the credit card for some fast emergency cash. It should be noted that we said emergency. Buying a dress for prom or a new video game does not constitute an emergency. (Make sure they know that.)
The Benefits of Giving a Teen a Credit Card Without Going Into Debt
There are six main benefits that come from giving your teen a credit card. First of all, you will help your teenager’s credit score remain in the green. Also, you will be able to monitor their spending and ensure that they have emergency cash on them at all times. If your kid has a problem with responsibility, then a credit card can fix that for you. (Instead of letting them take care of a turtle or a fish, you can just give them a credit card. You would probably end up taking care of the animal, anyway.) Finally, you can actually earn points from their spending and use it to buy something nice for yourself. (You’re a parent, so you deserve something nice.)
The Earlier the Credit Card, The Better The Credit Score
It might not sound believable, but it is 100% true. Individuals who first have a credit account at 18 have a more stable and better credit score than individuals who first have a credit account later on. You will always be skeptical of this piece of information, because it sounds wrong. (Talk about an oxymoron, but it is true. The Federal Reserve swears by it.) In the future, your teenager will thank you for giving them a credit card at 18, because they will not have to suffer with a bad credit score in their 30’s. (Think of it as a long-term investment on your teenager’s future.)
Teaching Them Responsibility Could Do Them Some Good
There is no denying that a credit card is a huge responsibility. (With great power comes great responsibility, and a credit card will make you feel powerful. At least, when you buy something your credit card can afford.) If you have some concerns about your teenager becoming irresponsible, then we suggest giving them a credit card. They will be able to understand the complexities of money and work on being more responsible. (This is not 100% guaranteed, but it is worth a shot.) There is always the option that if your kid gets out of hand, you can just take back the credit card. But, you should give your kid the benefit of the doubt. (Even if it’s just for a little while.)
Think of It As An Emergency Fund Instead of Free Money For A Teen
As mentioned above, your kid might face some trouble down the line. (Maybe they do not know how to reach you, or maybe they do not want to tell you that they are in trouble. They are teenagers, after all.) In that case, you should make sure that they have an emergency fund with them at all times. In case they need some emergency cash, they do not have to run around looking for cash on the spot. (Or worse, borrow money from someone shady.) As an added bonus, you can always know what they are spending the money on. The days of reading their diary or going through their phone are over!
You Can Watch Their Spending Very Closely
If you are not sure what your teenager is spending money on and why they are always broke by the end of the week, then you can always watch their spending closely. A credit card allows you to look through their credit card statement and spending history. It might sound like you do not trust your kid, but you are just looking out for them. Another aspect of being responsible is spending your money efficiently. This will help your kid learn more about frugal spending and money management. (Under your supervision, of course.) That does not sound so bad, does it?
You Might Get Something Out of It
Do you know how when you spend money on your credit card, then you earn points for all of your spending? Well, the same applies to your kid’s credit card. You can always reap the benefits when they spend their credit card. You can put it towards their next birthday present, or your next birthday present. (Whatever it is, you can still get something out of it.)
Well, are you convinced? Are you considering the option of giving your teenager a credit card? It is a good idea and a good long-term investment for your kid. No matter what, you will be helping your kid out in the future and in the now.