This is the time of year that many high school graduates are preparing to leave home.They need to decide what to take, what to leave, and how to survive on their own. This can leave many parents, and those students not to overcome with excitement, to worry.
What happens if the student goes to another state for school and they need something?The parents are not just a short drive away to help them out. Some parents may be close enough to go to the child, but some just are not. So what should these parents do?
Getting the student their own credit card, as an authorized user on the parents account is a great solution to this problem. The student can use the card in case of emergencies, or when they really need something for school. This is a simple way to put parents’ and students’ minds at ease.
If one is to get a card and make their child an authorized user one should talk to the child about some things. Boundaries and rules need to be set. Keep them realistic. Think back to when you were in college and what your needs were, then realize everything is more expensive now.
It is important that the first thing discussed is when it is and when it is not okay to use the card. It cannot be stressed enough how important this is. If this is not clearly established it could lead to the student using it too much, raising the balance a significant amount, and cause problems between the child and parents.
Next what should be established is how much can be spent on the card in a given time period. For instance if it is strictly to be used for emergencies, the parent may want the amount to be somewhat larger, realizing that the student may not need to use it every month. If however, they are to buy groceries, food, and so on with it, how much to ok every week, two weeks, or a month. Then the parents need to decide what happens if their child goes over that amount without okaying it with the parents first.
One more thing that should be talked about is whether or not the student will have to pay some or the entire amount put on the card back. If it is only for emergencies, maybe the parents won’t worry as much about it being paid back. If it is used for everyday things, maybe the student gets a set amount for a given time period and when they go over that set amount the parents keep track and when the child graduates and gets a job they have to start paying that amount back.
However one decides to make it work having their child as an authorized user on their credit card, it can be a good tool for children trying to get out on their own. Never forget that rules for use need to be clearly defined. Try typing an agreement up and have the parents and child sign it. That way if one party forgets they have something they can refer to. It may work different for ever parent and child, but when student needs that help and it is there, both the student and their parents will be able to breathe just a little better.
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