It’s an unfortunate fact that most students never get formal lessons in managing their credit and debt. For many young people, their first brush with being responsible credit card users won’t come till they are in college – away from home and the guidance of mom and dad. The moment they step on campus, new college students will be wooed by major credit card companies, all of them eager to establish themselves as ‘the first card in your wallet’.
If your child will be going off to college in the fall, one of the best things you can do for him or her is to get them started on the right foot to handling credit responsibly. Needless to say, example is the best way to teach. The more responsibly you handle your own credit card use, the more likely it is that they’ll absorb your attitudes toward the use of credit cards.
Beyond that, though, one of the easiest ways to teach responsible credit card use is to cosign an application for one of the credit cards that is especially designed for student use – and do it before they’re off on their own. Each major credit card line features at least one credit card that has low credit limits ($500 to $1000), no annual fee and a moderate APR.