Student credit cards aren’t always a bad idea

Student credit cards aren't always a bad idea. Most college students have credit cards these days, and may be more likely to pile up lots of debt than most other consumers.

That’s why it’s important for parents to teach their kids about good credit habits that they have learned through years of trial and error. According to the consumer advice website Mint Life, there are a number of ways college students can get a credit card, such as having their parent co-sign for one, or by becoming an authorized user on a parent’s card.

The site says that a better way to go about giving a student a credit card is to have them open a checking account with a debit card, which ensures that they only spend money they have on-hand. The same is true of prepaid cards, which can serve as training wheels until the student is ready for their own card.

However, if a parent thinks their child is responsible enough, they should consider letting them have a regular credit card so they can start building a good credit history.