teens too young to carry credit cards? Maybe not, says Robert Manning, author
of "Credit Card Nation." This can be the time to teach kids that credit cards
are a convenience not an extension of income. Kids who learn to use credit cards
responsibly in high school are more likely to avoid getting over their head with
debt in college.
According to Jump$tart Coalition, an advocacy group
for financial literacy, one in every three high school seniors uses a credit
card. Teens who do best use their own cards (co-signed by a parent) with
a low credit limit and use their own checking accounts to make payments
each month. That way, kids learn the connection between credit cards and
cash. Parents should constantly monitor spending and frequently talk about
the choices their teens are making.
Walecia Konrad is a freelance reporter who specializes
in business and personal finance, and is based in Brooklyn.