Re: Back to School Survey
07-18-2010 01:03 PM
Interesting survey, although the term "child" confused the issue for me.
I wish that the survey had separately addressed kids of high-school age and those who have graduated HS (or should have by now.) There are things I would have done with my younger kids, but I would never do with my older kids. As your offspring get older, your relationship with them begins to change, and you need to be treating them more as young adults and less like children.
Back when my three were in high school, we weren't really thinking much about credit at the time, but they had their own checking accounts (with me as co-owner), and they set records for OD charges from their refusal to seriously track their debit card usage. After getting enough acid comments from me about their undying faith in what the dial-a-balance told them they had in the bank but wasn't really there, they finally settled down. That probably helped form their attitudes about credit usage as well, because I did tell them that if they were as cavalier with CC's (once they got them), that their credit would quickly be shot. And I didn't pay off their OD charges, btw. Once they worked out how many extra burgers they'd have to flip to cover each $39 charge, it became much more real to them.
Once they were off to college, they were in charge of their bank accounts and their shiny new CC's. I didn't pry into their bank accounts, and sure enough, they got more responsible on their own. It took time, as do most things with young adults. They generally asked my advice if they were thinking of applying for a card, and they did wail at me if they missed a CC payment, and I made sympathetic noises with a minimum of I-told-you-so's. I also gave each a copy of Suze Orman's Young, Fabulous, and Broke, which did seem to filter into their heads. But I certainly wouldn't have done many of the choices that were listed on the survey (setting limits on their usage, checking on their balances.) The lenders seem to do that quite well on their own, lol.
So again, the question of whether I taught my "child" about credit really depended on their ages and the stage of our relationships.
FICO's: EQ 781 - TU 793 - EX 779 (from PSECU) - Done credit hunting; having fun with credit gardening. - EQ 590 on 5/14/2007