Having a healthy credit score is a necessity, and it’s never too early to start building your child’s credit. These days, credit scores are needed not just for car loans and mortgages, but also for jobs and apartments for rent.
Lenders take credit scores seriously, and so should you. It’s never too early to start helping your child build up their credit and help them potentially save thousands of dollars on high interest rates.
Jumpstart your child’s financial future by adding them as an authorized user on your credit card. Depending on your bank or creditor, you can add your child as an authorized user on your account at the age of 6 or even younger with some providers.
If you as a parent have a good credit score and have a history of paying your credit cards on time, adding your child to your card will only help to increase their credit score.
What if I don’t want my child to have a credit card?
Giving your young child a credit card is a risk, but your child doesn’t need to use the card at all to reap the benefits of being an authorized user. Some credit card providers will provide an additional credit card to authorized users automatically and some won’t, so its best to check with your provider first.
If you add your child as an authorized user on your credit card account, only your credit activity will affect your child’s credit score if you decide against giving them a physical credit card.
However, if you are in financial hardship and unable to pay your credit card bills, your child’s score will be affected as well as yours.
Before you add your child as an authorized user on a credit card, be sure that they are educated on how credit cards and credit scores work. Most preteens can understand the basic concept of debt and repayment, so it’s a great age to teach your children more about personal finance.
Studies have shown a correlation between educating children about money and higher credit scores in the future.
Mitra and Mohammad decided to add their 2-year-old child as an authorized user on their credit card nearly 4 years ago. Even when the provider sent them an additional credit card for their newly authorized son, Mitra simply placed it in a dresser and never used it.
Now their son has just turned 6 and has a 753 credit score to his name.
All in all, it is never too early to start building credit. Know as a parent, that adding your child as an authorized user on your credit account can help them get past the hurdle of building up their score when they may be in college or already in need of credit for a car loan or apartment.
Once your child has grown up and has applied for his or her own credit card, wait 6 months to a year before removing your child as an authorized user to ensure a smooth transition without their scores dropping.
If you have less than perfect credit and don’t know where to go, CrediReady can help. Our trusted network of credit repair experts can boost your score and help you qualify for the credit you need. Take a moment to fill out our free no-obligation credit repair inquiry form and start fixing your credit today!