How to Help Your Teen Build Credit Now

May 10, 2023 by First Federal Bank

teen-2Teaching your teen about money management and finances is an important step in their education. The lessons you teach now can help them grow into financially responsible adults with a bright and profitable future. Now is the time to help your teen build credit, and here a few ways to do it:

Instruct them to secure employment

If your teen is old enough to get a job, whether it be a part-time gig during the school year or a summer role they can prioritize, employment is a major step in building credit. Plus, it helps them learn the value of hard work, instills a sense of independence, and inspires excitement about earning their own spending money, valuable lessons that go beyond establishing credit.

“OK, so getting a job doesn’t directly help you establish credit, but income is a key factor in qualifying for credit, and your job history, just like your credit history, usually gets stronger with time. The more experience you have, the better your chances of getting a better, higher-paying job in the future, so get started early (without hurting your academics, of course), advises Brian Acton, writer for

Let them do their own banking

If your teen doesn’t already have their own savings or checking account, don’t waste any more time and get them to a trusted financial institution (perhaps your own). Discuss with the professional what options are best for your teen. Some financial institutions have accounts specifically designed for young money managers. Some accounts, if you approve, even come with a credit or debit card, giving your teen more independence and access to their funds.

“Responsibly managing and maintaining these basic accounts will show a financial institution that your teen can handle money,” according to

Share the responsibility and perks

Chances are you have one or more credit cards in your wallet. By adding your teen as an authorized user on one of your cards, you can help them build their own credit alongside your own good credit standing. As an authorized user, your teen can learn how to manage a credit card without taking on full responsibility, and you will have a front row seat to their spending habits.

“An authorized user can be added without a credit check and get the benefit of having the account included on their credit report,” according to LaToya Irby, writer for

Be strict about rules

You know how important it is to pay your bills when they are due. It helps you avoid costly fees, and it helps bolster your credit score. Your teen needs to understand why you are so strict with bill payments and money deadlines. Telling, of course, isn’t always the most effective way to get through to a kid, so show them so they can understand the complexities and responsibilities of solid money management. “Walk your teen through your system for paying bills and explain why it works for you,” Irby suggests.

Be open and honest with your teen about managing money. Include them in your own process of doing things, help them establish their own accounts, and encourage them to spread their wings and earn their own money. Building good credit takes time, and the sooner you start teaching your child the basics about money, the better.

Categories: Financial Education, Family

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