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Has anyone added a child to their own credit card account? Or co-signed for a child to obtain a credit card? She has no job, so I don't know if the latter is possible.

I didn't like the idea of adding my kids to my existing credit card accounts because I didn't think it would give them their own credit rating, but I could be mistaken on if that is true. I also wanted them to be responsible for their own expenses and to use to learn the card responsibly, and with twins, it would have been more complex than I wanted to add them.

Instead, I opted to co-sign on a card in each of their names that I got at the credit union which was willing to do that when they turned 17. This also gave them a really low credit limit, though at $1000, it was still a bit high for me, but that was the lowest I could get. They learned to use their credit cards instead of cash for most expenses so that they didn't need to carry much cash, could do things like put gas in the car for which they were responsible anyhow, and just had to deal with paying the card once a month. That also let me have them manage their own accounts, so they learned to check their expenses and to schedule the payments when the bill came in. They also learned to pay it in full or there would be interest, but neither one of them paid any interest.

I liked them learning to use credit cards while they were still home and I could keep an eye on them, and I liked it not being linked to my main cards in case someone's card was lost, stolen, or compromised.

They both had occasion to use their cards for things I considered emergencies, and it was good that they thought to use the card. DS's first experience with an emergency was in college during his freshman year when he used it to pay the ER co-pay, and I was just happy that his arm was not broken.

My kids both have good credit ratings today, and got good experience using their cards before leaving home. DD actually added a 2nd card, for which I also co-signed, at CapitalOne when she did the study abroad semester because they do not have any foreign transaction fees. Plus, she gets cash rewards, so that has now become her card of choice.

I've been encouraging DS to get a cash-back card now with a higher limit as he is finding that to be a little restrictive because he does charge everything, so he's learning about how to raise and stay within the limits.

And a bonus with them having a credit card that I am also on is that I can ask them to pick things up for me or I can treat them to something, and they can just charge it to that card. I just pay that portion of their credit card bill, and it works really well. I learned that from a fellow Fool, and love that idea.
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