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School-age children and borrowing

Talking with your child about money can go smoother if you keep the conversation age appropriate. The conversation starters and activities here can help you find the words.

Conversations about borrowing

“Avoid using credit cards for things you can’t afford.”

  • Discuss why having a savings and spending plan in place could help your child avoid building up credit card debt.
  • Explain that using a credit card is the same as borrowing money. Unless you pay it back in full every month, you have to pay a percentage of the amount you borrow as an extra cost, called interest.
  • Drive home this standard: When you use a credit card, aim to pay it back in full each month. Otherwise, you could pay more because you add interest charges.
  • Discuss why people should not use credit cards to buy something that they can’t afford to pay for with cash.
  • Discuss how a credit card can be useful for making purchases online, or as a convenience, when you pay it back each month.
  • Share your own strategy for using credit cards and what you’ve learned about managing your credit.