Preparing Your Teen for a Credit Card

September 7, 2023

Updated: Sept. 7 2023


One thing we could all do with is a little more knowledge about credit and credit cards. Every year, college students sign up for credit cards for the first time without being adequately informed about navigating their life with credit. That’s why teenagers need to prepare for their futures by learning as much as they can about credit.


Below is essential information to help parents prepare their teens for credit usage and how we can help if you live in Cincinnati, Ohio. If you’re a parent or an eligible teen, consider applying for a credit card with Emery Federal Credit Union. We offer secure and competitive credit card options at low rates that fit your lifestyle and needs. Read on to learn more about navigating life with a credit card.

How to Teach Money Management

Before a teen applies for a credit card, they should take the time to improve their financial literacy by learning about credit, debt, loans, and savings. We encourage parents to teach their teens about managing money. This way, teens can learn how to save and manage their savings accounts and credit cards before entering adult life.


At Emery Federal Credit Union, we help teens become financially responsible by giving them a place to save money. Our Banzai Teen and Banzai Plus online courses help teens become financially savvy and ready for the future.


Below are additional tips for helping teens with money management.


  • Teach teens about daily spending habits.
  • Start the conversation early on how to get started saving for college.
  • Teens should learn about student loans to fund their education.
  • Encourage teens to open a checking account to get firsthand experience in money management.
  • Set an example that teens can follow to remain financially responsible and meet their saving goals.


How teens understand money management will significantly impact their financial future. At Emery, we offer flexible financial solutions that help teens stay financially responsible.

Debit Cards Teach Money Management

A debit card for minors can be a good investment and option with which minors learn about money management. Parents can help kids develop good financial habits with a debit card like learning to budget, track expenses, separate between wants and needs, save money, and plan for allowances.

Why Get a Checking Account for Your Teen?

A checking account can help teens learn to manage money with support from parents and educational programs from financial institutions. Teens will learn to manage their bank accounts, maintain financial integrity, and avoid making financial mistakes.

Options for Teens

At Emery Federal Credit Union, we offer a free checking account for students between 13 to 24 years old. If your teen qualifies, they can open a checking account and enjoy features such as mobile check deposit and identity theft protection (with activation).

Features to Look for in a Debit Card and Checking Account

Parents should look for features in a debit card and checking accounts when opening accounts. Consider the following:


  • Online account monitoring
  • A debit card
  • Online mobile banking
  • Excellent security
  • Online bill pay
  • Mobile check deposit
  • Direct deposit


The above features will help parents and teens monitor the account progress, transfer money smoothly, and manage online transactions.

How Old Do You Have to Be to Get a Credit Card?

Parents often ask, “What is the minimum age to get a credit card?” The answer is that the age limit depends on the banking institution and how the account is organized.


Emery offers secured credit cards. A secured credit card is when a person puts down a lump sum of cash (which could be as little as $300) and has access to a certain percentage of that deposit as a line of credit. You can use a secured credit card like a regular credit card by making on-time payments and not maxing out the limit. In this way, secured credit card users can use their cards to build or rebuild a good credit score.


Parents can add their kids to their credit cards as authorized signers when they are 15 or older. Parents can also cosign on a secured credit card for minors aged 15-17.


Our young adult accounts also help teens and young adults save money and understand money management. Emery has checking and savings options for teens above 13 years and young adults below 24 years.

Emery Is a Financial Solution Provider

Teenagers can prepare for life with a credit card by utilizing secured credit cards and managing healthy checking and savings accounts. It’s also crucial for teens to become well informed about how credit works, how to build it, and how it can impact their futures. Emery Federal Credit Union offers flexible options to help parents and teens meet their financial goals in real-time in Cincinnati, Ohio. Contact us today for a free consultation to see what financial options your teen has available to them.


Image Source: Farknot Architect/Shutterstock

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