Sunday, December 12, 2010
Credit Cards-Should They Be An Adult Privilege?
The United States is a credit card nation.
In these modern days, money is dealt with in plastic rather than the old-fashioned paper method. Those without credit cards are at a disadvantage, as credit cards are so heavily relied upon. In many instances, if you do not have a credit card, you are in big trouble. Credit card companies are notorious for many unhappy customers, yet all could be avoided if the card is used wisely.
Credit cards are a great asset if used responsibly. Since they have existed, credit cards have been enjoyed as an adult privilege. Most credit card companies set their ages at 18, since applying for a credit card requires entering into a contract-something minors cannot legally do. Many also feel the moral obligation to restrict minors from their services. Some credit card companies take things further, making those under 21 required to obtain parental permission before obtaining their credit card. Many online businesses require you to pay with a credit or debit card.
It is possible to live without a credit or debit card, yet it may be difficult at times. Carrying around tons of cash can be a drag, and is a huge safety issue.
A few banks have decided to offer prepaid debit cards to children, yet many of the times, the parent is the account holder, or the parent monitors usage. Parents can also choose to make their children authorized users of their accounts, meaning that the child would have some access to their parent's credit card. About 25 percent of banks and credit card companies have an age limit set as to who can become an authorized user of a parent's account. The most common being 16 or 18.
Authorized account use comes with some restrictions as well, meaning that the child would miss the full benefits of having their own credit card.
Very few banks allow children to have their own solo debit card. Usually banks only offer debit cards to adolescents and college students, leaving younger children without the privilege. If children had ready access to credit cards, then they could learn financial responsibility early on, and have a more convenient way of spending money. Then children would not have to resort to illegally using their parents' credit card, or resort to online services which enable them to do so.
Many credit and debit systems have a limit on how much you can spend, and provide bank statements, allowing for more financial discipline. The child would always know how much is in their bank account and spend more wisely than they would with cash. Cash can often turn out to be a disorganized way of spending. It is often hard to keep track of how much is spent when spending with cash.
Many parents have been longing for a way to help their children along in financial responsibility, and many youth have longed for financial independence. Many working teens could use a credit card and have an easy way to spend their hard earnings.
Allowing a child to own a credit or debit card would certainly help more than it would hurt as long as it is used responsibly. Allowing a child to have a credit card would give them newfound independence with their money and would encourage financial responsibility. Children would gain new concepts of money and would better learn its value. Credit card companies should not have the right to discriminate against who uses their card. In fact, allowing children to use credit cards would give credit card companies a whole new group of users.
Everyone should have a choice as to which financial methods they use. No person should be denied any of them.
Posted by Mya Greene at 12:23 PM