Credit and Your College Student: 5 Lessons Of Owning a Credit Card

by Russell Sherrard - Date: 2006-12-08 - Word Count: 800 Share This!

Your child made it through high school and will be starting college in the fall. You're so proud and can't wait to see how the future unfolds. You've packed his bags and loaded the truck, and start driving 400 miles to the college of his choice. Did you forget anything?

Don't send your child off to college without a credit card.

We all hear the stories about the child who wouldn't leave home. You know the one who comes back home and leaves like you have a revolving door? Why not do something to benefit both your child and yourself?

Teach your child the benefits of credit by letting him apply for a credit card. It doesn't need to be a high balance card either, $500 will do to start. Today you can get a credit card for just about anything - gas, food, traveling, flying, student - they even have designer credit cards.

Lessons of Owning a Credit Card:

1. Responsibility

Having a credit card is a responsibility that one should take on with great forethought. Credit means that a bank has faith in your ability to repay a loan. It also means that you trust your child's ability to make his own financial decisions in a responsible adult way.

2. Finance Management

Learning to use credit wisely is something not taught in our current education system. Looking at the current bankruptcy rate you wonder why not? Managing a credit card is just like managing your study schedule. It is said that for each hour of class you should study 2 hours. Same principle should apply to credit. For each dollar you place on your credit card you should put two dollars in your savings. Managing finances via a credit card gives your child a hard copy record future businesses can look at to see what kind of credit risk your child is. Can he manage a $500 balance? Does he tend to max out his credit line and then pay the minimum balance? Does he spend frivolously or wisely?

3. Problem Solving

Learning to deal with problems that naturally come with living is one of the most important lessons your child can ever learn. Let' say he meets a girl he really likes and decides to impress her by taking her out to an expensive restaurant. Does he charge it to the card hoping that mom or dad will pay the balance? Does he decide to use what cash he has on hand to take her out? This may seem petty but the decision made on this small problem can foretell the future of his spending habits. Turning to credit every time one is faced with a problem is not wise however learning to live with the income you currently have is.

4. Investment

Most people see credit as a way to obtain 'things'. You can now buy that blouse, jacket, ring, car, or whatever you desire at the moment. Credit was never meant to be used as it is now in America. Many people are purchasing fast food, gas, and groceries with their credit card. This is fine if you have the money coming into your savings for repayment of the loan but what if you don't? It could take you ten years to pay off that trip taco bell if you continue in this manner paying only the minimum balance. Teach your child that it is okay to use the credit card for certain purchases especially if he is trying to build up a history of repayment. He must already make enough to purchase the item before he places it on credit. This way he is investing in his future as well as enjoying his present.

5. Safety

It's midnight and your son gets a flat tire on the way back to his dorm. He didn't work much last week because he took the time off to study for finals. What is he to do? He knows he will increase his work hours and start making a regular income next which would more than pay for the tire. He remembers his credit card and calls the auto club associated with the card company which he invested in for only $5/month. He buys a tire from a preferred vendor which saves him an additional 15% and puts away $4 dollars for each dollar he spent on the tire for future emergencies. The credit card and his ability manage his finances responsibly enabled him to use his problem solving skills to invest in future predicaments.

Your child is now a Senior in College and you are about to go to his graduation. You are positive about his future because you know for the last four years he managed his finances responsibly and wisely. His future is bright and can only get better. Congratulations you made it through parenthood. Now, can you make it through grandparenting?

Related Tags: finance, loan, invest, pay, student, credit, business, child, work, college, school, save, score, manage, classes

Russell Sherrard is a Computer Operator for a Top Health Provider as well as owner of two independent conservative online radio stations. He loves working online to aide others in financing their dream of working from home. Visit him at one of his sites at:,, or Be sure to listen to KGRACE or KMERCY for a wide selection of conservative Christian Music 24/7 365days a year.

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