Financial literacy is, unfortunately, a topic that is not always discussed in school, so as a parent, it falls on you to ensure your children understand the ins and out of their finances. Educating your kids sooner than later will encourage them to make smart financial choices when they become adults. “Adults with a firm understanding of personal finance, credit cards, and credit are more likely to avoid money troubles.” Discuss these important credit choices with your kids so they avoid the financial pit of bad credit.
Pay attention to credit
If you don’t understand what credit is or how it works, it can be very easy to ignore it. Unfortunately, this can lead to missed opportunities, such as purchasing a car or home or even applying for a credit card. Teach your kids the importance of checking their credit score at least once a year early on. This will ensure they not only have an understanding of the process but allows them to monitor how much credit they are using and make adjustments to their processes as needed.
Pay bills on time, all the time
Making payments on time might be the most important credit choice, as your payment history comprises 35% of your credit score. While most creditors will not report a late payment until you’re 30 days past due, it’s best to avoid getting to that point. Just one late payment can cause a drop in your credit score, so ensure that your kids understand the importance of paying bills on time. Brownie points if they pay their bill prior to the due date.
Don’t max out credit cards
It’s easy to see the approved amount your credit card allows and let that burn a hole in your pocket. Credit experts, however, recommend only using 30% or less of your available credit at one time. Not only does it increase the higher minimum payment per month, but is also flags you as being a high credit user and can damage your credit score.
Live within their means
Applying for a ton of credit cards and taking out loans may seem like you’ve got it all together, however, it’s not free money and it will need to be paid back. Taking out too many loans and applying for too many lines of credit can result in a huge financial setback, including massive debt, poor credit, and financial struggles. It’s crucial that your kids understand they should only buy or borrow what they can afford.
David S. Chang is an entrepreneur, wealth manager, keynote speaker, consultant and Chairman/CEO of Chang Holding Company. David is also the editor of The Art of Thinking Smart, a blog and finance column in The Star-Advertiser’s weekly Midweek with a readership of over 400,000 people. He is also proud to serve as an Intelligence Officer in the Hawaii Army National Guard.
A longtime expert in finance, David uses his executive roles in various companies under Chang Holding Company in order to help people achieve their personal financial and business goals throughout all phases of their lives:
A wealth management firm (which has become ranked as one of the top in the nation and featured in Forbes)
WealthBridge Private Equity
A private equity and venture capital fund
Care for Life
A private-duty home and senior care company
Other companies under Chang Holding include GreenTech Pacific LLC and Pacific West Import/Export Hawaii.
David is the founder of The Art of Thinking SMART, The Art of SMART Money, and The Art of SMART Stocks. He created the Simple 4-Step System to Wealth and Financial Freedom. Supported by over a decade of research and driven by David’s desire to help others excel in all areas of their lives, this step-by-step online training program enables people to take control of their wealth immediately.
Everyone should have a financial plan, regardless of age, income or net worth.David S. Chang
David has always loved to learn and seek out opportunities to achieve the American Dream– so it comes as no surprise that he has taken numerous continuing education courses in finance, investments, and insurance. He also completed the Chartered Financial Consultant® (ChFC®) program at The American College.
In 2015 David was chosen as a member of InvestmentNews’ 2015 40 Under 40 list of top young advisers and associated professionals in the financial planning industry. He has been featured in Forbes as one of America’s Select Financial Leaders. In 2013 David was selected as 40 Under 40 Military by CivilianJobs.com, 2011 Pacific Edge Young Professional of the Year, 2010 Business Leader of the Year from the Pacific Business News Forty Under 40 and 2011 finalist for The Business Leadership American Savings Bank Business Leader of the Year.
In addition, WealthBridge Inc. was selected as a FIVE-STAR Wealth Manager for the State of Hawaii in 2014 through 2011, representing the top 2% of Wealth Managers statewide. In 2014 through 2012 WealthBridge Inc. was also selected by The National Association of Board Certified Advisory Practices (NABCAP) as a Premier Adviser.