High School: Build Credit Knowledge and Begin Investing

As they begin to manage their own money, high schoolers can build credit, and start investing in the stock market. Help them understand the ins and outs of moving into this next stage of life through:

First-hand experience: Add your teenager as an authorized user on one of your credit cards. Just be sure to teach them about responsible spending. And remember, as the main account holder, you are ultimately responsible for anything they spend.

Credit card comparisons

Show them how to compare different credit card features, costs, and finance charges.

  • Help them learn the types of cards that exist and how to understand the differences.
  • Explain the benefits credit cards can offer and the importance of paying off, or keeping balances low.
  • Introduce the costs of owning a credit card, such as Annual Percentage Rate (APR), interest rates, and annual fees.

Financial Monitoring

Now is also a great time to introduce your children to software or apps that help them make financial goals, track their progress, and manage their finances. Giving them experience and exposure to places like Pigly.Com can help them establish good habits of checking their finances frequently. 

Getting into the habit of tracking finances and checking on them regularly will help them throughout their life avoid unnecessary debt, save for the future, and make wise money choices when it comes to all their purchases. 

Credit knowledge

Once they’ve established credit, show them how to check their credit report and what to look for.

  • Teach them to check their credit reports regularly, what is included (e.g. personal information, accounts, inquiries), and how that information can impact your credit scores.
  • Be transparent. Show them your personal credit report so they can see how past behaviors can have a positive or negative impact.

Identity protection

Now is the perfect time to help your child understand how to protect their personal information.

Planning for college

Talk through your child’s plans for the future and how they can achieve their goals by looking at the various options available to pay for college.

  • Go over the difference between federal loans, such as Stafford and Perkins Loans, and private loans.
  • Teach them how to pay off their student loan debt electively and strategically through smart choices, such as using auto-pay for bills.
  • Educate your children on the importance of applying for and actively seeking out scholarships.
  • Explain that part-time employment and saving to pay for college are both viable options.

What are your thoughts?  Please share in the comments below. I really would love to know.

Until next time, shine amongst the stars!

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