Student credit cards and young credit

Credit cards and kids


Your children might be too young to have a credit card, but they should learn about them.

The editorial content below is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners. Learn more about our advertising policy.

The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date; however, some of the offers mentioned may have expired. Please see the bank’s website for the most current version of card offers; and please review our list of best credit cards, or use our CardMatch™ tool to find cards matched to your needs.

Just because your children are too young to be cardholders doesn’t mean they are too young to get an education in the how’s and why’s of credit cards. Experts advise sharing the rules of credit cards early with your kids, before they ever have a credit card.

Credit card offers addressed to a son or daughter may come well before they turn 18. Once your kids begin to receive credit card offers in the mail, it’s a good time to speak to your children about them. Going over a credit card statement with your offspring can allow you to explain things like an interest rate, a card’s fees, and what happens if you go over the limit or are late with a payment. You can help them to understand that what they charge with a credit card will have to be paid back and that they should always make more than the minimum monthly payments.

Additionally, it is important to stress that a credit card should be used as a convenience, such as when you don’t carry much cash or for emergencies.  It’s good to tell your kids that credit cards are not for small, regular expenses like paying for pizza or movies.

Teach your kids that they should try not charge more than can be paid back at the end of the month, with very few exceptions such as vacations, which should be paid back within 12 months.

With your helpful guidance, by the time your children turn 18, provided they are responsible enough, start them on a credit card with a low line of credit. 

Experts suggest that it is better for kids to learn the ins-and-out of credit cards and money management with a low limit card while living at home (with their parents around to step in if necessary) rather than later on when they are struggling with the demand of college or their first job.  There are a number of credit card options to help young people establish and build credit available from  And, if your child will be attending an accredited four-year college or university, the options for student credit cards are many.

What’s up next?

In Student credit cards and young credit

Credit card use by students is focus of new study

Student credit cards are a rapidly growing market, with many college students having at least one.

Published: June 10, 2006

See more stories
Credit Card Rate Report Updated: August 21st, 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.