Sign up for our FREE Monthly Email Newsletter
In addition to keeping in the financial know, you may be interested in checking your credit score and report.
¹The credit scores provided under the offers described here use the Equifax Credit Score, which is a proprietary credit model developed by Equifax. The Equifax Credit Score and 3-Bureau scores are each based on the Equifax Credit Score model, but calculated using the information in your Equifax, Experian and TransUnion credit files. The Equifax Credit Score is intended for your own educational use. It is also commercially available to third parties along with numerous other credit scores and models in the marketplace. Please keep in mind third parties are likely to use a different score when evaluating your creditworthiness. Also, third parties will take into consideration items other than your credit score or information found in your credit file, such as your income.
²The Automatic Fraud Alert feature is made available to consumers by Equifax Information Services LLC and fulfilled on its behalf by Equifax Consumer Services LLC.
³Equifax Credit Report Control™ is only available while you have a current subscription to Equifax Complete Premier. Locking your credit file with Equifax Credit Report Control will prevent access to your Equifax credit file by certain third parties, such as credit grantors or other companies and agencies. Credit Report Control will not prevent access to your credit file at any other credit reporting agency, and will not prevent access to your Equifax credit file by companies like Equifax Personal Solutions which provide you with access to your credit report or credit score or monitor your credit file; Federal, state and local government agencies; companies reviewing your application for employment; companies that have a current account or relationship with you, and collection agencies acting on behalf of those whom you owe; for fraud detection and prevention purposes; and companies that wish to make pre-approved offers of credit or insurance to you. To opt out of such pre-approved offers, visit www.optoutprescreen.com/.
4We will require you to provide your payment information when you sign up and we will immediately charge your card $4.95. After that, we will charge the card $19.95 for each month you continue your subscription. You may cancel at any time; however, we do not provide partial month refunds.
Equifax® is a registered trademark and Equifax Complete™ Premier is a trademark of Equifax, Inc. © 2014, Equifax Inc., Atlanta, Georgia. All rights reserved.
Building a credit history is important for teenagers taking their first steps into financial adulthood. Good credit behavior is often required for many of life’s major financial milestones, including qualifying for a mortgage. What’s more, proof of responsible credit behavior may be required for some…
Building a credit history is important for teenagers taking their first steps into financial adulthood. Good credit behavior is often required for many of life’s major financial milestones, including qualifying for a mortgage. What’s more, proof of responsible credit behavior may be required for some of life’s basics, such as opening utility accounts, and qualifying for insurance premiums.
Whitney Lee, a financial advisor with oXYGen Financial, an Atlanta-based financial consulting firm that targets Gen X and Gen Y, points out it’s never too early to teach your teen about responsible credit behavior.
Add your child as an authorized user on your credit card
The Credit Card Act of 2009 makes it more difficult for teens to acquire their own credit cards. Those under 21 either need to prove they have the means to repay their debt or they must have a co-signer who can handle repayment.
Because young adults may benefit from using a credit card responsibly, Lee recommends adding your child as an authorized user on your credit card. “If you both charge responsibly, and pay off your balances, both of you will see the benefits,” she says.
Consider a secured credit card
If you are concerned about your teen spending recklessly as an authorized user, Lee suggests getting a secured credit card. “You basically pre-pay the card with the security deposit, and your teen can start spending up to the limit,” she says. The low credit limit that often comes with a secured card can be a positive: Your child can start using credit and building a history but within manageable spending limits.
Co-sign on an installment loan
Installment loans diversify the types of credit you have. . If you want your teen to begin to manage multiple lines of credit, adding an installment loan may be a good step. In this situation, you can co-sign an auto or other personal loan with your teen, and then supervise the way in which the debt is repaid. Under your guidance, your teen may begin to establish a foundation of responsible credit behavior.
Teach responsible habits
If you are going to add your child as an authorized credit card user or co-sign on a loan, it’s important that you trust your teen. Teach him about budgeting and living within his means. Later, he will need to make on-time payments and avoid overspending. Lee points out that a teen’s credit worthiness may suffer if responsible habits aren’t established early.
“Encourage your child to make small purchases, like a Starbucks run, and pay off the full balance,” says Lee. “Get your teen used to planning ahead for spending and paying off the balance each month.”
Building your teen’s credit before college can be a great way to prepare him to live independently. Helping him allows you to better monitor habits and provide correction as needed. By the time he leaves for college, you will have helped him develop an understanding of how credit works backed by a solid financial foundation.
The information contained in this blog post is designed to generally educate and inform visitors to the Equifax Finance Blog. The blog posts do not give, and should not be assumed to provide, personalized tax, investment, real estate, legal, retirement, credit, personal financial, or other professional advice. Before making any financial decision, you should always consult with the appropriate professionals who can explain your options, rights, and legal responsibilities, and advise you on any tax, legal, credit, or business implications that may result from those decisions. The views and opinions expressed by the authors of blog posts are their own views and may not be the views or opinions of Equifax, Inc. and/or its affiliates.
Equifax maintains this interactive forum for education and information purposes in order to allow individuals to share their relevant knowledge and opinions with other members and visitors. We encourage you to participate in discussions about personal finance issues and other topics of interest to this community, but please read our commenting guidelines first. Equifax reserves the right to monitor postings to the forum and comments will be published at our discretion. Do you have questions or comments about your Equifax credit report or customer-service issues regarding an Equifax product? If so, please contact Equifax directly. All opinions and information expressed or shared in blog comments are solely those of the person submitting the comments, and don't necessarily represent the views of Equifax or its management.