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It’s a subject a lot of us avoid, but if we face it head on, talking about credit can be life changing and introducing the concept of credit to your kids can help them avoid debt later on. There’s a couple key concepts to discuss if we want to get real about credit.  

Credit Reports  

Credit reports provide you with your history of borrowing, loans, balance, unpaid bills, parking or speeding tickets and how many times you’ve gotten your credit checked. Woah – rewind. Did you know that your unpaid tickets and bills were impacting your credit score? Yep, you can run but you can’t hide. Credit follows us everywhere, and the only way to beat it is to know it.  

Credit Score 

Typically, you’re credit report comes with a credit score. The score is based on the information above and calculated using a secret algorithm.  

Why Does my Credit Score Matter?  

Banks and lenders will use your credit score to determine whether or not you’re a good candidate to give credit to. That means buying a house or car or simply receiving a loan or line of credit. They’ll look at whether or not you pay your bills on time, if you max out your credit and whether you pay the full amount you owe or just the minimum.  

Why is it Vital for Your Kids to Understand Credit?  

Because they can’t opt out. Even if they never touch a credit card in their lives, they can have a bad credit score. In order to make purchases, get loans, and generally get ahead financially, credit lenders and banks need to see that they are capable of managing credit.  

 

Things You Need Good Credit For: 

  • Buying/renting a home – Most people know that credit is involved when it comes to buying a home. No matter how big your down deposit is (unless it’s 100%) you’re going to have a tough time getting a mortgage with bad credit.  
  • Buying a car – You’ll have a hard time with financing and loans if you don’t have a good credit score. Expect higher interest rates or possibly no financing at all. Say goodbye to those wheels.  
  • Going on a trip – Traveling requires credit, and getting a high credit limit requires a good credit score. It’s all cyclical, see?  
  • Paying low interest rates on a loan – The amount of money you’re charged for taking out a loan varies based on your credit score. Like everything else.  
  • Getting a credit card with great benefits – Credit cards that offer the best cash back, travel points and other rewards require you to have an excellent credit score.  
  • Getting good insurance rates – Some auto insurance companies see a bad credit score as a sign that you’re more likely to file a claim. Apparently, good credit equals trust.
  • Getting a good job – in the U.S., 47% of employers run credit checks when they go to hire and in Canada this hiring practice is growing in popularity. 
  • Finding a partner – Seriously. The Federal Reserve reported that having a higher credit score is connected to staying in a committed relationship.  

 

YIKES. Credit is incredibly important to financial health! In fact, it impacts almost every part of adult life. It’s also incredibly overwhelming. While adults like us might be working on improving our credit score, our kids still have a clean slate. If you feel overwhelmed by the prospect of teaching your kids about credit, let Dojo help.  

Dojo is a  secure app and debit card that allows you to set up automatic allowance transfers and manage and monitor your kid’s spending.  

But that’s not even the best part. Dojo is fun, simple and interactive. It allows kids to visualize their spending habits and includes “teachable moments” features that get them thinking about money. Let Dojo get money conversations started and help set your kids up for a strong financial future.  

 

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