Part I: You only have ‘One Life to Live,’ so don’t share money with an evil twin – you know, the one who’s always spending your money
Whether you’d classify your credit habits as young and restless or bold and beautiful, remember that you only have one life to live, and how you use (or abuse) your credit will shape your financial future. Before time passes like sand through the hourglass, learn these credit lessons, courtesy of your favorite daytime drama cliches …
One Life to Live: ABC/Lou Rocco
On “One Life to Live,” Viki and her daughter Jessica both know what it’s like when an evil twin, rather an evil alter ego, takes over.
The evil twin
You’ve always been financially responsible, paying off your card balance on time each month. Until one day … your evil twin starts wreaking havoc on your debt balance! OK, not your twin exactly, but the person whom you reluctantly added on as an authorized user on your account.
Lesson: Think twice before adding someone to your credit card as a user.
“Adding an authorized user to your account means that you take full responsibility for all account activity including payments and all charges the authorized user makes, whether you approved them or not,” says Denise Winston, money expert and owner of California-based Money Start Here, a financial education company. And beware — your evil twin (or ex significant other) may even secretly sabotage your financial future, she adds.
If you’re a parent, the same risk applies if you add your child to your card, points out Clarky Davis, “The Debt Diva” for CareOne Credit Counseling, a debt relief service company. “You’re on the hook for that money. You are responsible for damage they do.” Sign teens up for a instead so they can’t overdraw the account, she suggests.