Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Q&A: Credit, debit card options for the under-21 crowd

Ivan Penn, who writes the Consumers Edge column that appears regularly in the Times, also answers reader questions about consumer issues daily on our website (www.tampabay.com/news/ business; look for Consumer Edge heading). Ask the Times occasionally will run a sampling of those exchanges.

Rules protect, restrict

What can you tell me about debit and credit card options for students under 21?

Bill Hardekopf, chief executive officer of Lowcards.com, says the CARD Act began limiting credit options for students under the age of 21 in February. Hardekopf notes the good news is that the regulations protect students from aggressive credit card marketing on campus, but the law also restricts credit availability for students.

Hardekopf notes these options:

Credit cards: Students under the age of 21 can get a credit card if they have a co-signer or have proof of the ability to make payments. Co-signing should only be an option if your student can use a credit card responsibly. If the student makes a late payment, it also shows up on the co-signer's credit report. If the student can't pay off the debt, the co-signer is responsible for all the debt.

Debit cards: These cards are tied to checking accounts. Opt out of overdraft coverage to avoid overdraft fees. Online account alerts can notify you when the account falls below a specified balance. Debit cards do not help build credit scores and there may not be a sufficient balance during an emergency.

Prepaid cards: These can be purchased anywhere, even grocery stores. But they also have fees, so read the fine print before you purchase.

Secured cards: These cards have more fees and the interest rate is high, so pay them off each month. But secured cards are relatively easy for anyone to get because they are secured by a prepaid deposit. Make sure that the card reports to a credit agency. Secured cards from Orchard Bank and Public Savings Bank both report to credit agencies.

Think safety first

What cars are good for teen drivers?

Consumer Reports recently completed a review of cars best suited for teens in preparation for back-to-school. When you're picking a car for a teen — new or used — Consumer Reports "recommends picking cars with safety features such as electronic stability control and curtain air bags and good crash-test results."

Here are some of Consumer Reports' top suggestions:

Small sedans: Hyundai Elantra SE (2008-2010), Mazda3 (2007-), Scion xB (2008-).

Midsized sedans: Acura TSX (2004-), Honda Accord (2008-), Kia Optima (2007-).

Small SUVs: Honda CR-V (2005-), Nissan Rogue (2008-).

More information can be found in the September issue of Consumer Reports and online at www.ConsumerReports.org.

Q&A: Credit, debit card options for the under-21 crowd 08/26/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 1, 2011 5:27pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. No. 21 USF Bulls roll over Temple to stay undefeated

    College

    TAMPA — They emerged from Raymond James Stadium's southwest tunnel on the 11-month anniversary of their public humiliation at Temple.

    Bulls tailback Darius Tice, who rushes for 117 yards, is elated by his 47-yard run for a touchdown in the second quarter for a 10-0 lead.
  2. Fennelly: USF thrashes Temple to stay unbeaten; too bad not many saw it in person

    College

    TAMPA

    No. 21 USF ran its record to 4-0 Thursday night with some payback against Temple, a 43-7 trouncing, no contest, as if anyone cares, at least judging by the paltry crowd at Raymond James Stadium. Where was everybody?

    Bulls cornerback Deatrick Nichols (3) celebrates with teammates after making a defensive play during the first half.
  3. Former Ray Tim Beckham's over being traded, or is he?

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — As the Rays reunited Thursday with Tim Beckham for the first time since he was dealt July 31 to Baltimore, it became very clear that not everything in assessing the trade is as it appears.

    Tim Beckham, here in action Monday against the Red Sox, has hit .310, with 10 homers and 26 RBIs since going to the Orioles.
  4. Bucs probe how to fix deep-ball chances missed vs. Bears

    Bucs

    TAMPA — It was only minutes after the Bucs had demolished the Bears 29-7 Sunday when quarterback Jameis Winston tried one final time to connect with receiver DeSean Jackson.

    QB Jameis Winston says he’s focused on the deep-ball chances to DeSean Jackson he missed in the opener: “We left a lot out there.”
  5. Rays journal: Ugly first inning dooms Andriese, Rays against Orioles (w/video)

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — Rays manager Kevin Cash said before Thursday's game that RHP Matt Andriese was among the pitchers who would most benefit from a strong finish to the season.

    Matt Andriese has a tough first: hits to four of first five batters, leading to three runs, the only ones he gives up in six innings