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Table 'ams_active' is marked as crashed and should be repaired Teaching Your Teen to Use Student Credit Cards Wisely -

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Teaching Your Teen to Use Student Credit Cards Wisely

Your teen is about to go away to college, to learn, to grow... and to be inundated with offers for student credit cards. This is no petty annoyance. Credit card companies target college students, sponsoring campus events, handing out freebies, and papering the campus with attractive promotional offers that arent quite so shiny six months later when the grace period ends. Companies are stunningly successful at getting students to accept cards and to use them: A study found that students left college in New York with an average of four credit cards and more than three thousand dollars of credit card debt. How can you protect your own daughter or son from falling into the same trap?
* Teach them to be suspicious of any offer that flatters them. Student credit cards make students feel like theyre important by claiming that their offers are exclusive, for only the most select customers, or best of all, "a special offer just for you." The offers are really "exclusive" to a small, hand picked group consisting of every student the credit card company could find, but no one would know that without being told. Nor are the "special" offers very special. Learning to carefully evaluate any credit card offer that uses flattery is key to avoiding bad student credit card offers.
* Teach them how to read the fine print. Credit card issuers hide the details of student credit cards terms in blocks of minute print or in long, bewildering tables, couched in jargon as dry and obscure as possible. Knowing what the jargon in credit card offers means and how to find the important information in a welter of irrelevant details is a skill your daughter or son will need to choose a credit card wisely.
* Teach them how to analyze special offers. That 0% interest rate only lasts for six months, but unless you know to look for the fine print explaining that, you might miss it entirely and think you have a pipeline to free credit for life. Teach your teen to question offers that seem too good to be true and show them the places credit card companies hide disclaimers and details.
* Show them that if they dont need something, its not a bargain at any price. Its human nature to jump on a deal. But its not good financial sense. Show your teen through your own shopping habits that buying only what you need now, not what you might need at some unforeseeable point in the future, is the way to handle money. This will not only help them to avoid bad student credit cards offers, it will dramatically reduce the amount of debt they accumulate in college.
Sit down with your teen and a stack of offers for student credit cards, and help them pick out their first card. Theyre guaranteed to roll their eyes, but the financial lessons you can teach them will stick with them forever. And when they graduate with a strong credit rating and no credit card debt, ready to take on the world, theyll thank you.

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by: barrywaters
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