Read This

Book/Music Review: Murphy's Safety Songs
Publishing Guidelines: You may freely reprint this article in a print or online magazine, e- zine, or newsletter provided you leave the byline intact, don't change the content, and make The Dabbling Mum web address clickable. Please consider sending...

Take Advantage of Your Child's Energy Levels
“Life consists not in holding good cards but in playing those you hold well.” -Josh Billings If parents want to be able to make best use of time with their children, then it is crucial for a parent to start becoming alert to the state that their...

When should you begin teaching your child to read?
It is never too early to begin teaching your child to read, or at least laying the foundation for early literacy skills, and it can definitely be left too late! If you are not sure then think about this. Statistically, more American children...


If you have a teenage son or daughter you can be sure they are getting offers for credit cards. And while we all know how important having a credit card is in case of an emergency, it is just as important to make sure your child understands the responsibilities having a credit card brings. So take a few moments to talk to your children before they sign on the dotted line. Make sure they are aware of:

• The annual percentage rate.
• What is the grace period?
• If you are late how much is the late fee?
• What happens if you go over the limit?
• How is the minimum payment figured?

Then you need to set the ground rules. How is this card going to be used – for emergencies only, gas or for all general purchases? What is their spending limit? Who is going to pay the bill –will you each contribute and if so what percentage? Where will the child’s money come from –summer job or after school job? And if the latter, how will this affect studying, homework or participating in after school activities?

Most importantly, make sure your child fully understands that his payment history on this card and all future credit extensions will directly impact their credit report. Impress upon them the need to keep their credit score as high as possible, not only to help obtain additional credit when they need it, but to obtain the most favorable interest rates possible. Besides affecting their credit, they also should be made aware that their credit report can impact many other facets of their life; for instance their ability to get a job, get into college, get housing, or enter and remain in the Armed Forces. So before they assume the responsibility of accepting a credit card, make sure they fully realize the need to treat it with the utmost respect and are aware that, whether good or bad, their credit history will have a major affect on many areas of their adult life.

About the Author

The Credit Counseling Foundation, Inc
provides web-based education and personalized consumer credit counseling to clients
and the general public in an effort to help consumers use credit wisely. Visit
us at