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Personal Finances / Credit Cards and Consumer Debt


Subject:  Re: Credit Card for College Freshman Date:  5/27/2007  8:48 PM
Author:  YewGuise Number:  253671 of 312161

My son ... is a responsible kid... I trust him ...

Then you are in an excellent position. Whether he gets a cc, or you just transfer $ to his checking account, or wire him cash, it will be fine. My recommendation is to do whatever he thinks will be most convenient for him, and IMHO a cc is most convenient. Some colleges let students use their student ID's as debit cards (at the bookstore, cafeteria, etc.), which is nice on-campus, but useless for off-campus activities.

For both my kids, as soon as they got their drivers' licenses, DH & I got them credit cards. The cards had the kids' names on them, but the accounts were in DH's name, and we paid the bills from DH's checking account.

They were to use the cards for gas, clothes (to a pre-agreed limit), and school expenses. They could use the cards for whatever else they wanted, too, and when the bill came they'd reimburse us.

That worked. When DD was a college junior, she got cards in her own name. She preferred taking care of her finances without DH & me seeing the bills, which made sense.

When DS went to college, he got a card in his own name as a freshman, but the bills still got mailed to DH & me, because that's the address the cc company had. Right now we're in the process of switching the billing to his campus address so he can have the experience of paying the bills himself. Of course, he has almost no income, so when he gets a bill he tells us the amount we need to transfer to his checking account so he can pay it.

I think it's good for parents to be involved in their children's credit card use for a while as the children get some experience. only fear is that he will lose the card....

If your DS loses the card, you can call the cc company to have it de-activated temporarily. When the card is found, you can call back to have it re-activated. Or, they can issue another one. This is not a big deal, but could be a nuisance if it affects your and your DW's account, so you might prefer DS has his own card for that reason.

FWIW, has a link for college students. The catch is that he has to be enrolled, so he might not be able to get the card until about late July or whenever you pay his fall tuition. (I tried to get DS his card when he was a HS Senior, after he'd sent in his acceptance, but no dice.)

Good luck!
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