Just over a year ago; I would have responded to the question, “Should teens have credit cards?” with an astounding “Yes!” I thought that credit cards were great for teens and for young adults. After all, without a credit card; was it possible to establish credit? Credit is one of those vicious circles in life. You need credit to get credit. I worked for a credit card sales company. I couldn’t even apply for one of those plastic pieces of junk because I didn’t have enough credit. I was still a fresh nineteen-year-old without a single penny of credit to my name. To many, I’m sure this sounds glamorous. No credit means no debt. However to a nineteen-year-old, all this means is “nothing” so I went to my bank and asked for a credit card.
After a lengthy application and several weeks of waiting with nothingness, it came. That glamourous piece of plastic was sitting in my hand. I phoned excitedly and added an insurance protection plan onto the card. It seemed like a great idea. You pay a really small percentage on whatever is on your card; which means if nothing is on that card, that you do not pay anything. However, this also means that when the debt is piling up that you pay that small percentage which isn’t so small on a large number.
Why shouldn’t teens have credit cards? Why shouldn’t they have an opportunity to build their credit? It’s simple. It’s not always easy to have the power of a credit card and not use it. Sometimes you imagine that you need things and then realise that you do not have the funds to make the payments for them. I was one of those people that swore it would never happen, and yet it did.
The affects of debt are huge. Emotionally you feel devastated. You spend countless days and nights trying to think of how you’re going to pay off the money and how you’re going to manage to keep living your life. It’s difficult because guilt is overwhelming and when it comes to paying off your debt and going to the movies; paying off your debt is more important no matter how badly you want to see that newest film. It also affects you physically because you are unable to sleep, often feel sick to your stomach, and sometimes worse. No matter what the reason; credit cards are bad for everyone, especially teens and young adults.