Do Your Children Really Need A Credit Card?
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"Do Your Children Really Need A Credit Card?"

Don't Risk Getting Your Children, or Grandchildren Hooked On Credit

RELEASE: May 2001
CONTACT: Paul S. Richard, ICFE Executive Director

San Diego, CA.  'The targets for credit and debit card marketers are now your children and grandchildren. Parents are under pressure to give debit and or charge cards to their high school age children and first year college students should resist and don't risk getting your children (or grandchildren) hooked on credit," says Paul S. Richard, executive director of the nonprofit Institute of Consumer Financial Education (ICFE), a San Diego based group helping consumers become better spenders, regular savers and wise users of credit.

'Young people have not developed the financial self-discipline necessary to resist credit-based spending, which can be as addicting as nicotine, cocaine or alcohol. Young people need to be indoctrinated to savings and accumulation, in addition to understanding the difference between needs, wants and wishes, before they are introduced to credit-based spending,' Richard said.
Co-signing for a credit card for your children (who could otherwise not obtain credit on their own) sends the wrong messages to your children, on top of the main message from the credit card which is: "SPEND!" The negative messages children could be hearing are:

1) "It is OK to buy things on credit you otherwise couldn't afford."
2) "It is OK to spend when you have no regular income."
3) "It is OK to be in debt for spending money you don't have."
4) "It is OK to overpay for things through credit buying and paying interest."
5) "It is OK to pay interest instead of earning interest on savings."
6) "It is not necessary to save in advance for things you want to buy."
7) "It is OK to go into debt, even for things that do NOT retain their value."
8) "Occasional impulse spending is OK."
9) "Credit is necessary for a college student to make it through college."
10) "Don't worry, if you overspend and get into trouble, I'll bail you out. 
        After all, I did co-sign and I do have to protect my good credit record, don't I?"

For more information about "Children and Money" visit the ICFE's Web page at: The site also includes helpful sections on increasing savings, using credit wisely, plus allowances and personal and/or family financial worksheets, in addition to news about 'Credit Card Warning Labels' for those kids who just have to have their own credit card.

To receive the same information by mail, please send $1 and a self-addressed, 55 cent stamped envelope to:
ICFE Kids & Credit
PO Box 34070
San Diego, CA 92163-4070

About the ICFE:

The Institute of Consumer Financial Education (ICFE), founded in 1982 by the late Loren Dunton - creator of the "certified financial planner” (CFP) designation - is dedicated to helping consumers of all ages to improve their spending, increase savings and use credit more wisely. The years between 1984 and 2000, the ICFE was also known as the National Center for Financial Education (NCFE).

The ICFE is a nonprofit consumer education organization that has helped millions of people through its education programs and Resources. Over one million "Credit / Debit Card Warning Labels” and "Credit / Debit Card Sleeves” are in circulation world wide.

The ICFE's on-line help for consumers who spend too much was featured in PARADE Magazine (June 9th, 2002) in the Intelligence Report section. The money helps and tips are from the "Money Instruction Book," a course in personal finance, which was completely revised and updated in 2002 and is positioned to become among the premier programs in the new bankruptcy and debtor education initiatives.

The ICFE's "Do-It-Yourself Credit File Correction Guide," now in its Twelfth Printing, is in use by thousands of consumer credit and debt counselors in addition to tens of thousands of consumers. It received a "buy” rating in July, August and November from nationally syndicated financial columnist, Humberto Cruz in his column, "The Savings Game". BottomLine Personal newsletter gave the Guide a "Send For” rating in September 2001. The ICFE and our do-it-yourself approach to credit file correction was featured on NBC Nightly News on 04-30-02. The Spanish edition of the Guide premiered in January 2002. Syndicated columnist, Robert Heady also gave the ICFE Guide a "buy” rating.

The ICFE Web site at: helps consumers with mending spending, learn about the proper use of credit, budget and expense guidelines, how to set up and implement a spending-plan and also access financial education courses and videos and how to teach children about money. Other ICFE services include a free eNews, and an on-line resource center of financial education learning tools, including videos, books and personal finance courses.

Consumers may learn more on the Internet about the "Do-It-Yourself Credit File Correction Guide" here, or fill out our request form, indicating your areas of interest.

For more information contact Paul S. Richard ICFE Executive Director at 619-239-1401.

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