Student credit cards and young credit

A credit card contract for parents, adult children

Come February 2010, young adults may begin approaching their parents to co-sign for credit cards. A new federal credit card law will require people under 21 who want credit cards in their own names to get parents, guardians or other adults to co-sign the credit card application with them.


    You can download the sample credit card contract, spelling out the responsibilities of parents and their adult children, in these three formats:

  • PDF
  • Plain text
  • Microsoft Word document

Source: Dr. John E. Whitcomb’s “Capitate Your Kids.” Used with permission.

Dr. John E. Whitcomb, a medical doctor and author of the book, “Capitate Your Kids,” recommends parents get kids to sign credit card contracts with their co-signers.

Unlike credit card contracts you might receive from a credit card company, this is a simple agreement spelling out the do’s and don’ts of how the card is used and what is expected of the young adult.

The credit card contract highlights:

  • The need to pay off the credit card bill every month.
  • Agreeing with parents what can and can’t be purchased with the credit card.
  • Establishing a maximum amount to spend each month without getting parental consent.
  • Setting up arrangements for young adults to repay parents (with interest) if the cardholder cannot pay off the entire balance each month.

Whitcomb says misuse of credit cards can lead a young adult to what he called “financial slavery.”

He advocates financial education about responsible credit card use. He adds: “Credit cards are the modern form of putting people into a long-term financial obligation and putting them in a terrible situation.”

See related:Credit card reform and you, Law may force parents, young adult children to talk about credit cards, Law alters cozy relationship between colleges, credit card issuers, A comprehensive guide to the Credit CARD Act of 2009

What’s up next?

In Student credit cards and young credit

Law alters cozy relationship between card issuers, colleges

New credit card legislation will change the cozy relationships between banks and colleges -- and mean less free pizza for students.

Published: May 21, 2009

See more stories
Credit Card Rate Report Updated: August 14th, 2019
Cash Back

Questions or comments?

Contact us

Editorial corrections policies

Learn more

Join the Discussion

We encourage an active and insightful conversation among our users. Please help us keep our community civil and respectful. For your safety, do not disclose confidential or personal information such as bank account numbers or social security numbers. Anything you post may be disclosed, published, transmitted or reused.

The editorial content on is not sponsored by any bank or credit card issuer. The journalists in the editorial department are separate from the company’s business operations. The comments posted below are not provided, reviewed or approved by any company mentioned in our editorial content. Additionally, any companies mentioned in the content do not assume responsibility to ensure that all posts and/or questions are answered.