Should Your Children at College or University Have a Credit Card?

Credit card, also known as plastic cash, is a great invention that diversifies the cash payment industry. In this day and age, you do not have to carry cold cash around to pay bills anymore because you only need to swipe the portable credit card to do all these. Hence, convenience is one of the factors driving the escalating number of credit card users in Malaysia. In today’s modern world, even students in colleges and universities make up a portion of population of credit card holders.

  Most students use supplementary credit cards with their parents being the primary card member of the credit card company. There are different circumstances that lead to parents opting to give a credit card to their children in tertiary education level. Some do that to provide the children with material luxury as a sign of unconditional love. Meanwhile, some are just concerned for the financial convenience of their children when they are away from home. Whether you, as a parent, should agree with your children holding a credit card, it all depends on the necessity for your children to own one.

In the following paragraphs, we are going to see the do’s and don’ts for the parents before deciding on this matter.

The Do’s

  If your children are staying away from home, especially those studying overseas, providing them with a credit card is completely acceptable. This is when international credit cards come handy in transactions involving different currencies. It is inevitable for parents to be wary of their child’s safety, bringing around stacks of cold cash in a foreign country to pay the education fees and bills. Hence, credit card is indeed a more secure and safe means of payment.

  Besides, parents hope their children to be financially independent when they are young before they even step out into the working world. They trust that giving their children a credit card will make the youths learn the hard way to manage their credit responsibly. However, the young ones should be strictly warned not to spend beyond the credit limit. Perhaps, they can instill good discipline in the young card holders by asking them to pay the extra credit spent as well as the interest incurred for overspending. It is definitely the Asian parenting style by using a more ‘forceful’ way to teach their children. Likewise, some still believe that a child will never be obedient if no cane is involved in educating their children.

The Don’ts

  If you are providing your children with a credit card for the sake of social status or even worse, just because your peers are doing that, then you are surely being an irresponsible parent. In the long run, it will bring more harm than good to your children. Consequently, they no longer value the importance of money, leading them to neglect the essential of saving especially in their adulthood later on. So, no matter how well-off you are, do not resort to giving an unlimited credit card to your children just to portray the financial wealth you have. This is not a wise parent should do!

  Also, do not give in to your children’s irrational demands. Some youths presume that possessing a credit reflects their social status among their friends. They think that credit card is a tool for them to gain social acceptance or popularity. Hence, for instance, when your beloved one comes to you and request for his own credit card, always remember to question him to know his ulterior motive. If the child is using for the wrong reason, never be afraid to say no just because you love them. Providing material wealth is not simply equated to unconditional love.

  Ultimately, it is still up to the parents’ decision whether to give a supplementary credit card to their children. After you, as a parent, have weighed the pros and cons and believe that your child needs one for good reasons, then you can now start looking for the best credit card that suits your need and preference.

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