Readers’ Scoop: Teens And Credit Cards

credit cardsTLS, As a mother of a teen, I would like to share something with your readers. It wasn’t too long ago when my daughter came home from high school and asked me for a Credit Card. I was shocked when she asked me that. “What on earth do you need a Credit Card for”?  I asked her. Her response was something like “a lot of my friends have them and I could use one”. The conversation continued for some time and my final answer to her was No. When I met up with some classmates mothers at an event, I brought up this conversation. To my horror, I realized that my daughter was actually being truthful, as parents do give their children their own cards!  I don’t know what the arrangements and agreements are between these parents and children, all I know is that this definitely leads to unhealthy spending habits in the future. By these girls spending money with a credit card, even if it’s within the budget allotted to them, use of a credit card is habit forming. We then wonder how so many people are living beyond their means, and accumulating crushing debt which they cannot free themselves from.

If you want to teach your children to budget, open a checking account in their name, and let them learn how to balance an account with actual money! That will teach them responsibility, and they will thank you for it in the future.

This content, and any other content on TLS, may not be republished or reproduced without prior permission from TLS. Copying or reproducing our content is both against the law and against Halacha. To inquire about using our content, including videos or photos, email us at [email protected].

Stay up to date with our news alerts by following us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

**Click here to join over 20,000 receiving our Whatsapp Status updates!**

**Click here to join the official TLS WhatsApp Community!**

Got a news tip? Email us at [email protected], Text 415-857-2667, or WhatsApp 609-661-8668.


  1. Mrs. Old fashioned,
    A checking account is no better than a debit card. Open a Debit account and let your child budget her allowance with debit statements.

  2. i agree with # 1,
    give her a debit card but not a credit/debit card. this way she manages real money that she has and she gets to have a card which make her feel on par with her classmates, plus a card is more convenient then carrying actual paper money

  3. I am prob gonna follow what my father did for us, he gave us a credit card with our name / joint account with one of his cards and said we can use all we want BUT he will go through the statement every month with us and if there are things on it that he felt were unwarrented he made us pay for it. i think that taught us fiscal responsibility, we had a card which made us feel mature /responsible/trusted/

  4. I also agree with #1.
    Also, stop making issues out of nothing. If they spend within a budget on a credit card then what on earth is wrong with that? I’d rather that then they borrowing my credit card and it being all over the place.
    What is irresponsible about credit cards? I only use credit cards and pay off the balance each month (I like getting points). Irresponsible people will be irresponsible no matter what.

  5. There is a problem going on here and maybe in other places too. When someone has an opinion ,they want everyone else to go along with their thought process. Not giving a child a credit card and that it is bad for a child to have one,is your opinion. For your children do not give them credit cards. Why should everyone else have to listen or agree with you. There are certain situations where children need a credit card,and if a parent feels the need to let them have one,so be it.
    Please people look at the big picture and not just your daled amos.
    Thank you!

  6. You can open a credit card with a fixed limit of your choice if you accept responsibility and guarantee the amount. If your daughter is not with you and would like to make a purchase or sees something that you would want at a great bargain price, she can call you and proceed with the purchase with your permission. It’s unwise for young women to carry lots of cash with them, and credit cards carry less potential liability if they are stolen than debit cards. You make valid points, but may wish to reconsider, in the event that can trust your mature daughter.

  7. I will likely give my child a user card with a built in appropriately-low spending limit and general spending rules to be reviewed at each statement cycle.

  8. A credit card is not the problem with this mother, or any other family. This letter gives great insight into why today’s young generation is so self centered, expects everything to be handed to them, and lacks derech eretz. Parents have taught their children to get everything they want, and children have learned to expect to get anything they want. As long as parents do not teach boundries, and self disipline,our children will grow up with the attitude of “give me.”Then when they are adults, the parents can look at their children and wonder why they are not coping with life, and their marriages and relationships are falling apart.

  9. what about peer pressure which could cause nagging from children and then the sholom bayis suffers? please don’t get me wrong if you give a credit card i think the parents need to do it responsibly so that the child/adult learns from the experience and becomes mature. also i think working from a cash based approach makes a child more aware of the spending since they have to count how much they are giving and how much they have left.

    convenience is something we all want whether it’s because the yetzer hora talks us into it or we just plain have tough lives whatever the reason i won’t ever judge. just please remember the times when convenience ended up being more of a bother and caused problems that with a little thought and action could have prevented.

  10. as a teenager in high school, i recieved a weekly cash allowance from my parents to spend as a chose. i could either buy lunch or make my own sandwich at home and save the money for something i wanted. if i ever needed to go shopping, my parents alllowed me use of one of their credit cards with clear instrucitons spending limits and items to buy. when i went out of town for school, it was then necessary for me to have a credit card of my own since i was so far away.
    interestingly enough, as a a married woman i find it MUCH easier to stick to my household budget when using cash. I rarely use my credit card, only in emergencies or for Yom Tov shopping. I think that one is less likely to impulsively spend with limited cash than with a credit card. I doubt i would give my kids credit cards during their teenage years as using cash teaches them to budget and curb their impulses without you going into debt.

  11. Over ten years ago when I was in high school my parents opened a cc account for me. My parents looked over my statement, and I can truthfully say I never did any irresponsible overspending. My parents had the forsight to open an account for me to build up my credit. Fortunally it was a good idea, because when I got married just out of high school, and a bit later bought a house I was able to get a mortgage based on my good credit for the past few years. Thanks mom and dad!

  12. A couple of points. One, this may actually TEACH your teen responsibility and managing an account, since in such a way they can learn all this with someone else looking over their shoulder. Bother thing I would like to point out is that a much much bigger problem that was NOT discussed is teens getting their own PERSONAL cc. I can say that I personally racked up charges of thousands of dollars. I personally know two other people that did the same as teens. ONE OF THEM OWED APROX $8000 DOLLARS IN DEBT. Although all of us didn’t get too much money from home, this still is absurd!

  13. I decided to give each of my teenagers their own checking acct. when they went off to yeshiva. It was safer than having cash around to be stolen. Also it was like their monthly allowance. They only had $100 a month in the acct. and they are now learning to balance their own checkbook. And it came with a debit/credit card, which was much easier for them. By the way, not every bank is willing to give a minor their own acct. Think about it-would you accept a check from a minor? There is also something called Visa BUXX which is a debit/credit card with only a certain amount on it and YOU get the statements and the money funding it comes from your c.c.

  14. Can we all stop rambling?

    The fact is that studies have shown that when one uses cash instead of credit cards he spend aprox. 18% less.

    So the writer is saying that we may be doing this but why do we have to train our children.

    Now you may think its fine to give a credit card to a child but that does not change the writers point.

  15. I grew up as a teenager having a CC. You can’t go ahead and buy whatever u want,ur parents do see everything u put on there!plus I grew having great respect for my parents and still have great respect,so don’t go ahead and say they won’t have respect!with that being said YES I will give each of my children a CC and let them feel like big responsible boys and girls!!

  16. Why not give your daughter a credit card? Maybe she should learn at a young age how to handle a line of credit in a responsible manner. I do not think it living beyond means at all but rather a great education for a teen.

Comments are closed.