Start racking up insurmountable levels of debt early, it's the American way, kids! Want that PlayStation 5? GET IT! iPad Pro? WHY NOT? Basketball hoop in the backyard, HECK YEAH! Also, throw in a hot tub. Okay, I kid, pun intended.

Kids and credit cards: Building credit from a young age

Getting a child a credit card is something some folks do. According to a survey from CreditCards.Com, around 8% of parents say they've given their kids a credit card. You can't get your own card when you're under 18, but your parents can add you to their credit card account. Luckily, if the parents are responsible, that can help a child gain credit as they get older. There are other pros and cons, too - which I'll cover below.

I know if I had a credit card as a tween, it would have been a huge mess. I got my first one at 18, and paid it off when I was 30! It was terrible. But, that's my story and not everyone else's. And I was a legal adult!

For 'rents that get kiddos cards, the website The Points Guy gives a solid reason why kids could be good candidates for credit cards. Established credit history and a good credit score are crucial these days to landing a car, a home, a cell phone plan, and other things as well.

Should kids actually have access to a credit card every day?

Of the parents who've given their kids a credit card, 21% say their kids have used it without permission at least once. So is it such a good idea to give your kids a credit card? Let's look at both sides:

  • PROS:
    They have it for serious emergencies, it can teach them about responsible spending, it shows you trust them and it might help them learn more about how credit works so they don't make mistakes when they're older.
  • CONS:
    But on the downside, it can lead to them being more reckless with money and they could max out the account, which could hurt your credit score AND theirs, and they could get used to buying things they can't afford.

Do you have any credit cards your kids are authorized to use? Have they ever abused the privilege?


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