Credit Card Argument

Question:

hey phyllis! i want your opinion on a disagreement i’m currently having with my parents. they have always raised me to be very careful with money and have taught me to as stay far away from debt as possible. i’m 20 years old and attend college in another state away from them. i work part-time and have my own savings account so i don’t 100% rely on my parents for money. the problem is, my parents refuse to let me have a credit card. i’m concerned that by the time i want to buy a house or make any large purchases my credit score won’t be high enough. i’m assuming they don’t trust me with money. they say it’s not necessary, but i feel like i should be building my credit now while i’m young. i don’t want to go behind their backs to get one either. i feel like it would be wise to only put gas on it and easily pay it off each month to begin to build my credit. do you have any opinions on this situation? any advice would be greatly appreciated. thank you!!!

Phyllis replied:

I think  you have a good argument, and in general I agree that it’s a good idea to begin building your credit.  I don’t know you, however, so don’t know if your parents have cause to worry about what might happen if you have a credit card. But I also feel that young people need to learn from their own mistakes.  If you can trust yourself to only put gas on your card, and you are positive you have enough to cover that by alwayspaying the full amount, and never needing to pay interest, then I think  you should be allowed to try it.  Perhaps you could simply go ahead and get the card, then tell your parents after the fact.  Let them in on your decision and even show them your bank statement from time to time to let them know you are responsible.

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