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Subject:  Re: Credit Card for College Freshman Date:  5/27/2007  10:27 PM
Author:  Hohum77 Number:  253678 of 312161

Congratulations on your son's graduation!

I am glad you are thinking ahead and concerned about your son's financial issues and CC temptations.

Some ideas
- If you and/or your wife balance the checkbook, show him the steps when you do an ATM withdrawal or write a check. Point out the dire consequences if one writes a check greater-than-the-balance. I vaguely remember the bank employee asking my mother, "Overdraft protection?" and my mother saying "Yes, indeed". I do know banks charge a whole lot more for both overdraft protection and overdraft fees.

- A Credit Union at the college?
Sure they do-- here's the link
I remember opening up an account at my college Credit Union, and CU checks happened to work very well for purchases on campus- bookstore, campus stores, local businesses (pizza shops, etc)

- College ID cards
Some colleges have their ID cards serve as a "stored value" card for college related transactions e.g. dining commons, on campus purchases, etc. Yes, one could lose the card, but the colleges are likely well organized for dealing with lost ID cards (since the ID cards serve lots of functions on campus). Students keep a close on their ID cards since it might serve as their room/building access, etc.

- When I was in college, there was some restriction (likely age) on when a student could get a CC card. I suspect the rules might have changed.
The credit card companies will be there signing up students for CCs and offering different "cool" promotional items (in my time, it was T-shirts and frisbees, but I am sure it's more sophisticated stuff like ipods/accesories, memory sticks, etc. now)

- Someone suggested pulling the student's credit report once or twice a year. Perhaps a carrot-and-stick approach. Tell him you will be pulling the credit report, actual review it, and reward him for a clean report. That's one way to see if he opens a CC account and his utilization %

Good luck

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