What You Can Teach Your Parents About Credit

What You Can Teach Your Parents About Credit
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David Andrew
By: David Andrew
Posted: November 27, 2013
Experts share their tips and advice daily on BadCredit.org, helping subprime consumers navigate the world of personal finance.

Your parents taught you life’s most important lessons. Chances are your understanding of money and credit comes from them.

However, times change and it is possible you now have a few pointers that can help your parents just as much.

Here are some common lessons you can teach your parents about credit.

1. Rewards cards can be a lucrative bonus.

While credit cards have been around for decades, reward credit cards are a relatively new product. These cards offer bonuses like free flights, merchandise or cash back in exchange for your spending.

If you pay off your account balance each month, you get these bonuses for free.

Have your parents stuck to the same card for their entire life? Consider introducing them to a rewards program instead. This way they will get a nice benefit in exchange for their good credit habits.

2. Be careful with new card offers.

While some parents have never heard of rewards cards, others can’t get enough of them. This can be as big a problem.

Every week, your parents likely receive offers in the mail for new credit cards. These offers display all kinds of fancy new features that may tempt your parents into signing up.

If this is the case, make sure your parents understand to read the fine print of every offer.

Some cards charge steep annual fees or surprisingly high interest rates. Also, if your parents have too many accounts open, they could lose track and get into credit problems.

“Advise your parents to stick

to three credit cards or less.”

3. Use the Internet cautiously.

The Internet is another valuable tool as long as it is used properly. Unfortunately, there are a lot of problems you can run into and older Americans are particularly vulnerable.

If your parents shop online, warn them that they should only shop with well-known stores that have up-to-date online security. Smaller vendors sometimes leak their customers’ credit information.

You should also warn them about online scams like phishing. These are emails that pretend to be from banks or other official companies to demand a person’s credit information.

Let your parents know they should not reveal their credit information in an email.

Your parents have done a lot for you and helped you become the responsible adult you are today. Repay the favor by teaching them these lessons and make their financial lives just a little bit easier.

Photo source: mamahealth.com.