Getting a Credit Card for Your Teen – Is it the Right Thing to Do?

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How do youprepare your child for a good financial future? For many parents, making surethat their child has a bright future means making sure that they get acollege education. Others go so far as building a trust fund for theirkids. Does getting a credit card prepare your child for a goodfinancial future? If they come up to you and say “can I get a creditcard?”, do you say yes? do you say no?How can you tell if getting acredit card for your teen is the right thing to do?Here in Indonesia, you can get asupplementary card for your child as long as they’re 17 years old. If theywant to apply for a credit card on their own, they need to be at least 21 yearsold.Benefits of Letting Your Teen Owna Credit CardYour child can get the same benefits thatyou get with a credit card. They benefit from the convenience of notneeding to bring a lot of cash when they go out. It’s also a great way to payfor school essentials such as textbooks or new laptops or tablets. If they havea credit card, you don’t have to worry if they have money to spend if theycan’t get home immediately after a school trip.Cons of Letting Teens Own aCredit CardA credit card can also be misused. Youmight be shocked to find a huge charge on your credit card bill and beunable to cancel the purchase. A misused credit card can wreck havoc on thehousehold budget if the bill gets too big and the charges are notreversed.Is My Teen Ready for a CreditCard?So should you apply for a supplementarycredit card for your teen? If they asked you to get one for them, ask themwhat they need it for and see whether a credit card is the right financial toolfor them. You may realize that a debit card may be more useful for theirneeds. If you think that a credit card is the right tool for them, then youshould talk to your child and lay down the rules about using the card. Letthem know when and for what they are allowed to use the credit card. Thegreat thing about having a supplementary credit card is that you can stillmonitor the activity  on the card and see what are being charged on thecard. Normally, the supplementary credit card’s credit limit is the sameas the primary card. To be on the safe side, you can also request that thecard limit on the supplementary card be lowered so that you can put a capon your child’s spending. Letting them have a credit card can be great way toteach them about their financial responsibilities and reviewing themonthly credit card bill with them can be a way to talk to them aboutgood financial habits. As long as you are confident that your child isresponsible enough to use a credit card wisely, then feel free to applyfor a supplementary credit card for them. Being responsible with credit, howto save money, and how to earn money are the financial skills that theyneed to learn from you as their parent.


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