Why Students Should Be Taught How To Use Credit Cards By Their Parents

Why Students Should Be Taught How To Use Credit Cards By Their Parents.  If you think about it, credit cards are only traps to the uninitiated. And responsibility is taught; it's not something you just grow into by virtue of the number of birthdays you've had.  For people who've learned to be responsible with their credit cards, these cards are actually a convenience at the very least; and maybe even a savings tool in an optimal setting.  With the lack of personal finance topics in our school's curriculum, how else are our youth going to learn about money matters if parents don't take the initiative?
A while back I featured a guest post about how students can apply for a credit card (along with some tips on handling it).

It was pretty run-of-the-mill, though I thought the concept of students handling credit cards was novel and I excitedly endorsed the idea. (As it turns out, it wasn't all that novel.)

I got a few random likes, but in one facebook group it was lambasted. The idea was apparently backwards and would result in disaster.

I had a long moment of self doubt. But as I thought deeply about it, I reaffirmed my earlier conclusion.

If you're a parent, and you're handling your credit card very well, then it's really a good idea to have your child get a credit card.

Why?

Because credit cards are debt traps. But even worse, they are so prevalent. In all likelihood, your child would end up having a credit card someday.

What would be worse? Teaching teenagers how to properly handle a credit card or leave twenty-somethings to fend for themselves?

It sounds like a choice between a rock and a hard place. But it only seems like a disaster because of the common mental models of credit cards (debt traps) and teenagers (irresponsible).

But if you think about it, credit cards are only traps to the uninitiated. And responsibility is taught; it's not something you just grow into by virtue of the number of birthdays you've had.

For people who've learned to be responsible with their credit cards, these cards are actually a convenience at the very least; and maybe even a savings tool in an optimal setting.

And with the lack of personal finance topics in our school's curriculum, how else are our youth going to learn about money matters if parents don't take the initiative?

The reason so many people are averse to credit cards is because a lot of people got buried in debt. And the reason they were buried in debt was because no one taught them how to handle it properly in the first place.

Just think about it. What if everyone was taught how to strategically use a credit card right from the start? We wouldn't be trying to avoid credit cards; instead we would be actively searching for the one that could help us best with our finances.

The best way to solve a problem is not simply to avoid it, but to actually pursue a solution. So in my next post, we'll go over some ways how parents can teach their children how to properly handle credit cards.

However, even after having said all that, this is admittedly a personal choice. It's something totally up to the parents, and what they see fit to do. I happen to think it's worth considering, but it may not be for everyone.


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photo credit: garethjmsaunders via photopin cc

2 comments:

  1. I agree with you completely. Kids should learn how to make a credit card work for them and not the other way around.

    A credit card is a great tool to have, and in this day and age, it's slowly becoming a necessity. In fact, in the US, when flying, you need a credit card to check in. And I think that will be the norm too everywhere in a decade or so.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Jill!

      Yeah, that's a good point. It's getting more and more prevalent; so the question isn't "if" anymore, but "when".

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