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When should you get your child a debit card?

Here are some things to think about when deciding to give your child a debit card.

mother and teen daughterIntroducing your child to the world of modern financial technology is important because it sets the tone for their banking and financial decision-making for the rest of their lives. It’s important to explain to your child how your bank, debit card, credit card, and savings account work, what they’re for, and how to utilize each one.

While these conversations can happen a lot earlier than the teen years, teenagers are at a great place in their life to start practicing using some of these tools, while still being monitored closely by their parents and the bank.

Many financial institutions will allow you to open up a debit card account with your child. Ensuring they don’t have open access to your personal checking and savings accounts, but allowing them to still go through the debit card process.

Every child matures differently, so ultimately it’s up to you, the parent, to decide if your child is ready for the responsibility (and repercussions) of using a debit card. But, here are a few good indicators that they may be ready to take on the challenge:

  1. They have good grades and are responsible with their school work.
  2. They have a job.
  3. When they are given money (i.e. going shopping with friends, going to the school football game), they handle it well and don’t take advantage of the opportunity.
  4. You trust them with other big responsibilities (i.e. driving siblings to soccer practice)
  5. They’re about to go off to college.

Talk with your child and decide what works best for your family.