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Practical Money Matters Radio Series

July 25, 2011
Credit 101 for College Freshmen

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If you have kids heading off to college, here are a few ways to prepare them for responsible credit use in the years ahead.


If your kids are heading off to college, now's a good time to make sure they're prepared for financial responsibility.

Start them off with a checking account and debit card–preferably with no monthly fees or minimum balance requirements; and convenient ATMS. Make sure they record all transactions using an online or smartphone money management tool.

Consider making them an authorized user on one of your credit card accounts to establish their credit history. But monitor account activity closely to protect your own credit. Emphasize that bills must be paid on time or their credit scores will suffer. And look at the wealth of credit resources for college students at

Bottom line: Send your freshman off to college ready to handle adult financial responsibilities.

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