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Ask The Expert: How Do I Learn About Credit Cards Before It’s Too Late?
A reader is getting a credit card, and it scares her to death.
Howard Was Asked:

My parents are fighting over a credit card — mine. I just started college, and my dad wants to me to get one so I’ll learn how to use it responsibly. My mother is really against it. She thinks I’ll run up big bills and not be able to pay them off.

  -  Annalisa  in  New York

Ask The Expert: How Do I Learn About Credit Cards Before It’s Too Late?

The timing of your question is impeccable. So is your location. Right now, we’re in the middle of America Saves Week, which promotes responsible spending for all Americans. You also live in New York, and your state Legislature is right now considering a bill that would mandate “juniors and seniors at secondary schools must take a financial literacy and personal finances course.”

Of course, that bill, even if it passes, comes too late for you. But luckily, if you want to learn about being responsible with a credit card, there’s no shortage of places to learn. I’m biased, but I’d suggest starting here at You’d quickly discover that literally the worst cards you can get are a Kroger card or a gas card. Their rewards and fees aren’t the best. You can do better.

In fact, there are a slew of cards aimed squarely at college students like you, Annalisa. Some allow your parents to monitor your charges, while others deposit cash back directly into a savings account. You and your parents can review’s list of the best college credit cards and find one that’s right for all of you. I’m actually glad to hear you’re so scared of credit cards, Annalisa. Sometimes, a little fear is healthy. Too many college students don’t fear debt enough, and it gets them into trouble. You don’t want fear to paralyze you, however, so keep consulting for advice on credit cards, and you’ll master your cards.