Should teens have credit cards?
It is better to be specific and straight forward without beating about the bush.Teens should not have credit cards. They are in the early age group of 16 to 19.At this stage most of the teens are either studying in a college to have their degrees or in a community college pursuing a short term course to have reasonably a good job opportunity. Moreover, the teens at this stage are mostly depending upon their parents or guardians and they are mostly novice without any experience in life because of their young age In other words teens may be said to be standing at the entrance or gateway of life.
But having a credit card is generally a tricky business. To have a credit card one should maintain a good credit rating. To maintain a good credit rating one should know the nuances of dealing with money or financial matters .and generally one should have a good cash and funds flow. In other words to have a cash flow or funds flow one should either run a good business or in employment. But teens are mostly unemployed and school-going or college-going at this stage.
Teens being mostly unemployed and depend upon their parents and guardians, first of all they may not have a good credit rating. Even otherwise, if some credit card companies for the sake of expanding their business bring the teens, which have a rich back ground, within the ambit of credit cards, the teens may not possess the requisite skill or know-how of dealing with or managing a credit card.
On the other hand there are a number of ways and means for the teens to use the credit cards both directly or through online methods, for any purpose they like according to their whims and fancies without knowing the actual risk of using a credit card. For example the teens may have the tendency to use the credit cards for online games, online gambling and even for the purpose of viewing porn movies. In the end the teens have a bad credit rating, without actually knowing what is meant by credit rating, become badly indebted and get ruined, at the early stage of their life.
A recent survey undertaken among the college students in the US says that an average credit card debt among the college students is about $ 2,000.Such debt burdens actually force them to work part time, though it may not be unwise to work part time to eke out their livelihood, to pay their tuition fees, to earn additional income to save for their future studies etc. But working part-time to discharge their heavy debts , will actually derail the teens from their main objective of studies, besides keeping them under constant mental stress and strain.
Therefore, though it may not be unwise to teach the teens about the credit cards, about the credit rating, effective use of a credit card etc as part of their curriculum, it is better not to issue them with credit cards at this stage, since they are not mentally prepared to deal with them. On the other hands, teens being so young and vacillating and not capable enough to take independent decisions, it is always better to exclude the teens from possessing a credit card and in fact the minimum age limit for possessing a credit card should be raised to above teen level coupled with other qualifications like employment, possession of minimum of cash reserve, possession of minimum of some immovable properties to make them eligible to have a credit card and it may not be even unwise to raise the credit rating to possess a credit card for the first time.
Therefore, it may be safely concluded that teens should not be issued with credit cards, in the interest of their welfare and in the general interest and welfare of the society as well.If at all there arise a situation that teens should be given with credit cards then they must be equipped with the nuances of financial management before hand.