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We're the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), a U.S. government agency that makes sure banks, lenders, and other financial companies treat you fairly.

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My kids think I can put everything on my credit card. How do I explain that we have to limit what we buy with credit?

Be sure your children understand that credit is a loan – you have to pay the money back at a later time. If you don’t pay the entire balance in full every month, you’ll be charged interest.

And the longer it takes you to pay the money back, the more it costs to borrow.

Once they understand that credit (or more specifically debt) has a cost, discuss why you would use cash or a debit card for some types of purchases, and why you would save to pay for an expensive item rather than pay it off over months or years.

It may also help to let them know the difference between credit cards and debit cards, which these days look the same, but are very different.

For more money activities for your child, visit our Money As You Grow section.

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