Teaching Children About Borrowing Money and Credit | Money Missions

Teaching Children About Borrowing Money and Credit | Money Missions

Our in-app Money Missions are designed to accelerate your child’s financial education and help us achieve our mission to make every kid smart with money. When they log into their GoHenry app and tap ‘learn’, kids can watch the fun, animated videos, take quizzes, earn points and badges. You can use your GoHenry parent app to track your child’s progress; when each lesson comes to a close, another one begins, and your child will unlock new levels as they progress. Money Missions are fun, educational, and tailored to every child – best of all, they’re included in your monthly GoHenry membership fee. 

 

 

Most kids (and adults) will ask to borrow money at one point or another – often because they haven’t budgeted properly, or need a little extra so that they can afford to go out with friends, or purchase an ‘essential’ item. Although borrowing can be very useful, many parents worry about their teens getting into debt. Especially when they leave home or start college, and may be tempted to spend money they don’t have with credit cards.

 

For this reason, it’s a good idea to talk to your kids about loans and credit from an early age, so they understand why borrowing money is a big responsibility. 

 

Why can borrowing money be good?

Borrowing can be a good thing because it usually helps us to reach our goals more quickly. It can make us feel good to get something that we want. For example, many adults borrow money when they buy a place to live. This is called a mortgage, and the money is paid back over many years. 

 

Other examples of where we can borrow money include:

 

  • A loan: when you borrow a set amount of money for a set amount of time.
  • An overdraft: this lets you spend more money than you have in your bank account.
  • A credit card: this lets you spend money on credit, which you can pay back in one go or in monthly installments over a period of months or years. 

 

When we borrow money, we have to pay interest, which is the amount that the bank charges us for borrowing. This usually means that we pay back more than we borrow. The amount of interest we have to pay is called the ‘interest rate’. It’s important to check this before we borrow money, as we always want to pay as little interest as possible. Interest rates can vary depending on a number of factors.

 

 

Borrowing money responsibly

If we borrow something from a friend, we have to give it back later – and it’s just the same when we borrow money. This is why we need to take care not to borrow more than we can afford to repay.

 

When we borrow money it’s called being ‘in debt,’ and things like credit cards and overdrafts can build up very quickly, especially when interest is added. This means that the more money that we borrow, the more we have to pay back. When we pay it back on time, we show the bank that we’re responsible, which might give us more borrowing options in the future. But if we find it hard to pay back the money, it might mean we can’t borrow in the future. 

 

Sometimes, being in debt can make people feel very anxious and worried, especially if they have borrowed too much and the payments and interest make it hard to afford to pay for essential needs like food and electricity.

 

Some parents want to know if spending habits as a child can affect a person’s credit score, and are confused about whether a child can get a credit card. As borrowing money is a big responsibility, you need to be at least 18 to borrow from a bank or have your own credit card. 

But there’s no need to worry if your child has a GoHenry account – as it’s a prepaid debit card, there’s no risk of them going into overdraft or getting into debt. As an added bonus, the customizable parental controls help you to help them to learn about budgeting and money management, so they’re less likely to overspend or make expensive mistakes when they’re older. 

 

Although borrowing money is a useful tool, it must be used carefully. So it’s important to ensure that your child understands how borrowing works, and remind them that we don’t have to borrow money – we can decide not to buy something or save up for it instead. 

 

 

 

Want to teach your kids about spending, saving and borrowing money?

Create a GoHenry account today and gain unlimited access to our new, in-app Money Missions. These feature fun videos and quizzes, designed to teach kids about finances and build crucial money skills from an early age. 

 

 

 

 

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Written by Ceri Roberts Published Jan 10, 2022 ● 3 min. read