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Learning Center

Back-to-School 101 - Teens  

Managing Credit

In today’s world, it is very important that everyone establishes a good credit history at a young age.  Future credit opportunities, employment and insurance are just a few things that are tied to the credit report. Add your child as a joint user to one of your credit cards and monitor the statements.  That way you can oversee his or her spending as well as making sure the account is being maintained responsibly.  Keep in mind as a joint user, both parties are accountable for the account and it will be reflected on both credit reports. 

Food and Entertainment

Help your teen establish a fixed amount that they can spend on food and entertainment.  Have them avoid going to convenience stores and vending machines for quick snacks.  Instead, scouring store ads or websites, such as Groupon or Living Social, will help them find discounts for economical food options.  If they are in college, investigate on-campus meal plans which are often built into student fees. 

Bank Accounts

Put yourself as a joint owner on your teen’s checking account so you can have access to statements to see how he or she is handling the account.  When the account is opened, do not choose the option to have the transactions paid if there are insufficient funds in the account.  Instead, opt-out.  Transactions will be denied at the point of sale if there are not enough funds in the account. Another tool to help in avoiding fees is to request to receive a text alert when balances are getting low. 

Buying a Car

Do you remember your first car purchase?  Whether it was new or used, or black or red, there were many decisions to be made before you were ready to drive it.  You might now be in the situation of helping your teen get his or her first car and those considerations are still there.  Check out our Car Buying Tips for Teens before you shop.

Student Loans

Make an appointment with a financial aid counselor in the admissions office at the school.  Make sure you know all the terms and conditions of the student loan and ask for a projected payment of the loan upon graduation.  Many students have been surprised at the payment amount and they are unable to afford it after they graduate. It is also very important that they do not spend the student loan proceeds on anything other than tuition and books.

Back-to-School 101 - School Age

Back-to-School 101 - Parents

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