Is your child (err, adult) ready for a credit card? Before they start charging, help them learn the value of building healthy credit with these smart credit card tips.
Tip #1: Choose the Right Card
One credit card is all he or she will need – as long as it’s the right one! Tell your child to watch out for introductory credit card offers that try to lure university students in and then hike the rates two months later. A good way to start learning financial responsibility is to get a prepaid card. This will give him or her a chance to practice responsibility with a payment card before getting one with a credit limit.
Tip #2: Avoid Payment Pitfalls
Creating a solid credit score means forming good habits from the get-go. As with other bill payments, repeatedly late or missed credit card payments – even for small amounts – can damage your child’s credit score, which could create setbacks in the future when trying to, say, buy a car or apply for mortgage. To make payments easier, he or she can set up automatic payments through online banking. Keeping credit limits low can also make planning for payments stress-free. Look together at your child’s monthly expenses and work to create a budget he or she can manage.
Tip #3: Be Intelligent About Interest
To prevent credit card interest from getting out of hand, show your child why it’s wise to pay in full each month as opposed to the minimum credit card payment. It’s also important to be familiar with your credit card’s policies to understand how interest rates may increase, if there are missed payments.
Tip #4: Reap the Rewards
Advise your child that if a company is offering a reward to make sure that the annual fees don’t outweigh the incentive – and that it’s one she can actually use. The PC Financial® Mastercard® has no annual fee and offers PC Optimum points. He or she can earn 10 points for every $1 spent and PC Optimum points can be redeemed for student essentials at participating stores where President’s Choice®products are sold.
Learn more about the President's Choice Financial® Mastercard® options.