I’ll never forget when I was 21 I went to buy a car and couldn’t get financing. Not because I had bad credit, but because I had no credit at all. Up until that point in my life I paid cash for everything. I had no clue no credit would prevent me from getting any type of loan. I assumed everyone started with good credit and either improved it or destroyed it.

How to Help Your Child Build Excellent Credit Before Graduation - Real Estate

So when I had children one of my many goals was to teach them about finances and help them build excellent credit before graduating high school. The last thing I wanted was for my children to start their adult life in debt with poor credit because once that holes dug it’s not easy to get out of it. Our oldest son had excellent credit by the time he graduated high school and I’m confident our younger one will too. Here’s how we did it.

1. Financial Responsibility

Teaching children financial responsibility starts at a young age. It sounds cliche, but a lot of kids think money grows on trees and there’s a never-ending supply. My children truly didn’t understand the value of a dollar until we made them spend their own money to buy things they wanted.

How to Help Your Child Build Excellent Before Graduation - Teach Children to be Financially ResponsibleOne of my children could spend every dime he had while the other would buy something and before getting to the car wanted to return it. No matter if you have a spender or a saver you need to start teaching them the difference between “needs” and “wants.” Yes, technically it’s their money, but this is where parents need to step in and teach their children how to make good financial decisions.

2. Odd Jobs

We never gave our children an allowance, but we did have them do odd jobs for money. From pulling weeds to painting a room, whatever was age appropriate at the time. We also always set a budget of how much we would spend on the things they needed. If they wanted something over the budget they had to cover the difference. Once they were old enough to get a job they did. Even if it’s only one or two days a week for a few hours it teaches responsibility.

3. Open a Savings Account

Once they start saving money it’s time to open up a savings account and deposit their money. This is where they learn how to deposit money, withdraw money and balance a checkbook. We opened up a student virtual wallet account for our children through PNC and it has three categories; spend, reserve and growth. I love the categories and it’s one more way to teach children about financial responsibility and how to manage their money. If they’re saving for something specific they can deposit money into their spend account and if they want to save they can deposit it into their growth account, which pays interest.

How to Help Your Child Build Excellent Before Graduation - Add them as an Authorized User4. Authorized User

I never thought about adding my children as authorized users on our credit cards, but one of my clients recommended it. This alone started establishing credit for both of my children. By the time my oldest graduated high school his credit score wasn’t just good, it was excellent solely because he was an authorized user on two of our credit cards.

Now, you’ll only want to consider this option if you have great credit. If your credit isn’t great it could negatively impact an authorized users credit. Also, keep in mind the cardholder is responsible for all charges. So if your child is an authorized user and you decide to give them the card, you’ll be responsible for any charges they make.

5. Open a Credit Card

Once they are old enough it’s time for them to open up a credit card in their name. Odds are they won’t have to look far because they’ll start to receive countless credit applications in the mail. This too was another teachable moment that we discussed with our son. There are four main factors we looked at; fees, interest rate, limit and rewards. For me the interest rate is irrelevant because they should never be accumulating debt, but fees and rewards do matter. There are a lot of credit cards out there with no fees, but great cashback rewards.

Final Thoughts

As I Realtor I have seen countless people get denied for a mortgage. The sad part is a majority of them thought they had good credit, turned out they didn’t. Had these people been taught about financial responsibility and improving their credit the outcome may have been different.

This is why it’s so important we teach our children financial responsibility at a young age and keep teaching them into adulthood. No two children are alike, so you may have to tailor how you teach financial responsibility, but it can and should be done.

Please consider spreading the word and sharing; How to Help Your Child Build Excellent Credit Before Graduation

Additional Real Estate Advice from Top Professionals

  • How to Hire the Best Realtor! Take an in-depth look at how to go about hiring the best Real Estate Agent. Whether you’re buying or selling a home having the right agent is imperative to a smooth transaction.
  • 5 Reasons Your Home Isn’t Selling – If your home is sitting on the market you’ll want to find out why. Once you figure out why your home isn’t selling you’ll be able to address it.
  • Keep Your Valuable Safe During an Open House – Open Houses welcome everyone and anyone. So if you plan on having an open house you’ll want to take steps to protect your possessions.
  • Biggest Home Selling Mistakes – Sometimes mistakes can be costly, this is especially true when it comes to selling real estate. One of the keys to avoiding mistakes when selling is hiring a top Realtor in the area.

About the Author

The above real estate article “How to Help Your Child Build Excellent Credit Before Graduation was written by Michelle Gibson of Wellington Florida Real Estate. Specializing in residential real estate since 2001 Michelle Gibson is experienced in assisting buyers, sellers, landlords and tenants. She would love to share her knowledge and expertise and guide you through the entire real estate process.

We service the following areas; Wellington, Lake Worth, Royal Palm Beach, Boynton Beach, West Palm Beach, Loxahatchee, Greenacres and more. If you are considering selling your home, we welcome the opportunity to work with you and list your home with a top Realtor in Wellington Florida

Summary
How to Help Your Child Build Excellent Credit Before Graduation
Article Name
How to Help Your Child Build Excellent Credit Before Graduation
Description
Helping your children achieve excellent credit before graduation is possible. Here's my personal roadmap that set my children up with excellent credit.
Author

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *