Your college-bound teen is going to get access to credit cards: Most will get into trouble once and get themselves out by turning to the Bank of Dad. Setting up a small "Bank of Dad" overdraft with your younger teen will teach him or her the advantages and traps of credit use. The overdraft must be large enough to cause real problems for the young teen, without causing you a problem: For most dads $500 is a good sum for this purpose. Make sure your overdraft carries a hefty interest rate similar to credit card loading, say 18.5%.
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