August 16, 2000
11:03 AM   Subscribe

Let's rope 'em in while they're still young.
posted by 120degrees (10 comments total)
oh god.

"For all of you out there who didn't think high school students could get a credit card, we're here to tell you YOU'RE WRONG! We at Capital One ® believe that establishing a good credit history starts early. And, if you start out with good habits, you'll keep them as you go through your 20's and even your 30's and 40's. "


"You'll also see the word Guarantor throughout this site. It means that someone (parent or legal guardian) has to sign the application telling us that he or she will take responsibility for your credit card debts if you are ever unable to pay them. "

They're encouraging young people to get a credit card, lose control, and have their parents bail them out. No one should "take responsibility for your credit card debts." That's what the person with the credit card is supposed to do. That's part of being a responsible adult, not just giving "free" money to high school kids.

The CapitalOne people are disgusting.
posted by mathowie at 11:19 AM on August 16, 2000

Kinda like the accusations made to Camel and the Tobacco Industry, allegedly trying to rope in potential addicts at a very young age.

Money is too addictive. It should be made illegal. *smirk*
posted by ZachsMind at 11:34 AM on August 16, 2000

Here's what to expect next.
posted by plinth at 12:27 PM on August 16, 2000

Credit limit up to $1000? That's more than my Student MasterCard, and I'm 21. Hah.
posted by endquote at 1:21 PM on August 16, 2000

The basic concept of giving a high school junior a credit card isn't new; most credit card companies will gladly issue 1 or 2 "additional cards" to your account, and pretty much all they ask about these is the name to put on the card. So back in the early '80s, I knew plenty of kids, as young as 13 or so, that had their own cards; and most of the others just took their own parents' cards when they went out, because you hardly ever met a cashier that cared as long as the surnames matched (when they bothered to look at all).

The new thing here is that CapitalOne seems to be implying that this is the way to start the kid's own credit report. And am I wrong in my belief that federal law prohibits credit agencies from keeping records of anyone under 18, since it's illegal for anyone under 18 to legally enter into any contract agreement whatsoever (as all cards are, at the base of it), and that they thus aren't liable for any charges they might ring up? (This rule got me and my parents out of more than one $1000+ Visa bill I ran up on CompuServe in the mid-'80s, heh heh.) Obviously this is why they're demanding a guarantor for these cards, so that the parents are totally responsible for seeing that everything charged gets paid up. But how would this give the rugrat any credit history, positive or otherwise?

I think the college student cards, like endquote's, are far more dangerous than these KiddieKards. The college cards are a way for a student with no credit history whatsoever to get into the credit report system from square one, and they themselves are fully responsible. That's the kind of card that leads to bankrupcy by graduation.
posted by aaron at 2:51 PM on August 16, 2000

Youch, does that site have the worst URLs in history or what? Yikes!

Oh, and to stay on topic: Credit cards BAAAD. Napster GOOOD.
posted by daveadams at 2:59 PM on August 16, 2000

This rule got me and my parents out of more than one $1000+ Visa bill I ran up on CompuServe in the mid-'80s, heh heh.

More than one? You'd think they would've cut up every card in the house after the first time...
posted by wiremommy at 6:26 PM on August 16, 2000

Call me nuts, but I don't think a teenager having a credit card is a bad thing. What is potentially problematic is the link made to the parents' credit report - nothing like seeing your pristine credit flushed due to a weekend spending binge by your kid.

But, uhm, that's where you have to - gasp! - actually parent. You have to teach your kid about money, and teach him or her well.

This crosses over to the college cards. Do I know recent grads with debt problems? Heck yeah. Do they really understand how credit is supposed to be used? No. It's a crutch for them, and it was throughout college; now they're paying for it. That's the way it goes.

That diatribe said, the CapOne site is simply okay. But statements like this one:

Remember, if you lend your credit card to a friend, you are 100% liable for any purchases.

...send shivers up my spine. Why even mention the idea of lending your card? That's begging for trouble.

posted by hijinx at 6:47 PM on August 16, 2000

Has anyone ever heard of debit cards? Get yourself one, screw credit card BS. I know SOME people need credit cards, but any parent that can afford for their child to have a credit card, already has the money, if they don't then they really really don't need a credit card.

IMHO - Little James
posted by Temple at 8:26 PM on August 16, 2000

>>More than one? You'd think they would've cut up every card in the house after the first time...<<

Well, two instances, a couple of years apart. :)
posted by aaron at 10:29 PM on August 16, 2000

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