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Personal Finances / Credit Cards and Consumer Debt


Subject:  Re: Credit Card for College Freshman Date:  5/29/2007  4:50 AM
Author:  RedFi Number:  253730 of 312161

It may make sense to add him to the card for emergencies, but if you want to give him a set amount for day-to-day expenses, you may just want to deposit the funds in a checking account. That's what my parents did for 'fun money' when I was in college. I supplemented the balance with money from my own on-campus job. If he opens an account with TCF, he will likely get a check card, which he'll probably use like a credit card so you can ask to see his statements and track where his money goes. (FYI - I currently have a TCF account and I'm very happy with them - good interest rates and comprehensive account statements. I'm not sure what their deals for students are like.)

I guess I'm leery about putting him on a card for more than just emergencies. One of my old roommates in college was put on her parent's credit card, and during sophomore year she managed to charge $3,000 in one month alone! She managed this even though we lived in the dorms and she had a full meal plan. I'm sure that today she can't even remember what she bought. (I do remember that there was a beaded dress that she couldn't even fit into!) Never underestimate the ability of college students to be complete idiots with money.

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