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Teenagers 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

“Pay off your credit card balance each month.”

  • When a parent cosigns for a child’s credit card, any late payments the child makes also affect the parent’s credit history.
  • Explain that paying bills late can hurt your child’s credit history and affect her chances of getting a job and an apartment.
  • After reaching age 18, your teen can get free credit reports once a year.
  • Shop for a credit card with your teen, comparing interest rates and annual fees. If your child’s college or university offers a credit card, take care to review the terms offered.
  • Explain that there may be an emergency expense that your child can’t pay immediately and needs to charge, and that’s why it’s important not to charge everyday items.
  • Explore credit card repayment calculators with your child, to see how long it could take to repay a $1,000 credit card debt by making the minimum monthly payments.