Helping your child establish a solid credit score is one way to prepare her for the future and teach her financial responsibility. By adding her as an authorized user on your credit card and providing her with a card of her own, you can offer her a head start on building a good credit score so that she has an easier time applying for loans in the future. Whether she needs to apply for car loans, a mortgage or even loans for college, having an already established credit score in good standing will do nothing but benefit her, according to Experian.
Log on to your credit card account online to add your child as an authorized user on your credit card with a card of her own, advises JPMorgan Chase and Co. All major credit card companies allow you to add an authorized user to your account online. However, you can also call your credit card company and ask about adding your child to your account. Many financial institutions will allow this. If you do not have login information already, you will have to follow the instructions provided to create a username and password to access your credit card account online.
Locate your account information after logging in and choose the option that allows you to add an authorized user to your account. This section may be located anywhere on your account overview page.
Provide the name of your child and other personal information your card’s issuing bank requires when prompted, advises Chase. For example, some banks require your child’s name, Social Security Number and date of birth, whereas others only need her name as you wish it to appear on her card and her home address.
Double check to ensure that the information you entered is correct. If you accidentally spell your child’s name incorrectly, she might have a difficult time using it as it will not match her identification.
Discuss with your child what it means for her to have her own credit card. Talk to her about the spending limits, about paying it off in full each month, what she is and isn’t allowed to use it for and what you expect of her in terms of using the card. For example, if your child is an older teen with a job of her own and you wish for her to pay off anything she spends on the card in full at the end of each month, make sure she knows this before you hand her a brand new credit card with her name on it.