I talk almost non-stop to parents, tweens, teens and students in their early 20’s about getting into and succeeding in college. The story doesn’t end with the words, “and they all lived happily ever after” once someone graduates from college. There is grad school, professional school or the job search to contend with. After that, the education really begins with figuring out how to navigate squeezing 10 hours of work into an eight hour day and avoiding the pitfalls of office politics.
It’s far too early to begin grieving over all those things. I have something that can be done right now to make life after college much easier for the recent graduate. Parents, you should probably keep this to yourself if you decide to act on what I am about to say. Add your high school-aged kids to your credit card account. OK, OK, now that your eyes have come back into focus, let me explain why this ridiculous idea can really pay big dividends for your child down the road.
Even our best college graduates stumble into the workforce with very little credit history. It doesn’t matter if they just accepted a job making an insane amount of money; they probably don’t make enough to pay for a car with the first check. Some things will require they take out loans; the aforementioned car and that first house… Adding your child to a credit card that you have held for a long time will allow them to piggyback on your credit history and set them up to look very attractive to lending institutions when the time arrives. This is all dependent on you having a good credit history… Don’t damage the credit history of your child by adding their name to a card that is always overdrawn, paid late or has been turned over to collections.
Anyway, I learned that tip from a mortgage guy in my networking group. Let me know if you want his contact information… Once again, the old adage has proven itself to be true; if you listen, you really will “learn something new every day”.