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Congressional parents say no to credit cards for kids

Congressional parents say no to credit cards for kids

Wayne Hoffman
May 1, 2009
Wayne Hoffman
Author Image
May 1, 2009

You never thought the Nanny State would look like this. Congress is in the middle of passing a bill that would prohibit a number of activities that the free market ought to be able to resolve on its own and will only result in higher fees, rates and limit access to credit for people on the bubble. But I'd say that the most troubling provision of the oddly-named "Credit Cardholders Bill of Rights" is that it would prohibit creditors from providing credit cards to anyone under the age of 18.

Now, as a parent, I kinda presumed that I would get to make parental decisions about whether or not my child has a credit card or not. And frankly, I expected that at some point I would get credit cards for my children. Why? Because I would rather help them understand how to handle credit than have them learn about it the wrong way -- as I did -- when they're out on their own and under the impression that those 18 percent credit card rates will never come home to roost.

Is that the right choice on my part? I don't know. Maybe it is. Maybe it isn't. But it's my choice. It troubles me that Congress thinks it's a better mom and dad than the rest of us.

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