Teens and Credit Cards

A national study suggests 54 percent of college freshmen carry a credit card. That number will double by the time they're sophomores. A large percentage of those teens will carry a balance of more than $7,000, but one credit union is teaching teens how to be responsible card holders.

Fifteen-year-old Jay Keller is an entrepreneur who's building his business with the help of a credit card.

Jay Keller says, “Well, I have my own lawn business. Since I'm not able to drive, buying parts for all my lawn equipment, that's something I can do with my credit card online and for gas for my lawn equipment."

Envision Credit Union is helping teens like Jay establish good credit history and spending habits, but before these students receive a credit card, they must enroll in a course and pass a test, and they must also meet several requirements.

They must be enrolled in high school, be 15, 16 or 17 years old, have a job or some source of income, be a member of Envision Credit Union and have permission from either a parent or guardian.

Leslie Smith, Systems Coordinator, says, "We want to teach these students now while they're still with their parents and their parents can monitor their activity and be responsible and use their cards wisely and build their credit in a positive way."

It's also a positive way to teach teens how to avoid pitfalls of bad credit and massive debts. The card comes with a $200 limit.

For more information on the program, please call 850-942-9000.