Dear Crabby, What’s wrong with Credit Cards?

Dear Crabby,

I am almost 20 years old and my parents are still treating me like a child! My college offered me a credit card of my very own and my parents told me no. Why would they care if I get my own card? What gives them the right to deny me my adult privileges anyway?

Sincerely, Hedda Foredebt

Dear Hedda Foredebt,

I am not sure where to start with your question. Let me take these in the order you wrote them. First of all, I have underwear older than you are, so let’s not blame your parents for still treating you as a youngster. Secondly, you say you are in college and you want to get a credit card of you own. Usually college students do not have very consistent or well-paying jobs, so I agree that they do not need credit cards. As to why they care, I would say it’s probably because they brought you into this world and hope that you will not get into too much debt so you can take care of them someday- that’s my thinking anyway. Finally, what gives them the right? I guess I would say that if you still live in their house, or if they are paying for any of your schooling or living needs that gives them the right. DearCrabbyIf none of those apply, then I would say the hundreds of thousands the average child in America costs a parent or all the sleepless nights you gave them or the gray hairs on both of their heads would give them the right! Now don’t get me wrong, I was almost 20 once too and I knew everything then as well. I remember shortly after I got married I was offered a Sears card and Mrs. Crabby and I decided to purchase a whole new furniture set. It was great, at first. We had better furniture than my parents and we looked really cool! Then my first bill came and I saw the 19% interest and the fact that I would need to make these minimum payments for 23 more years to payoff this furniture. They would have made 15 times more off me than the initial purchase was anyway. I decided right there that I was going to pay that thing off and never use it again. From then on I tried to save my money and purchase things that I could afford up front. I have learned that some things are still necessary and convenient with credit cards. You need them to purchase airline tickets and eBay items and the like. But I always pay attention and try to pay them off as soon as they come in. So listen to your parents and do the math yourself. In another 5-10 years you will realize how wise your parents are and you may even wish you had listened a little better! I’ve been there too! Good luck!

Sincerely, Dear Crabby

Stuck in a rut? Need some biased advice from a crabby old baby-boomer? Go to and ask your question.

About Dear Crabby

Stuck in a rut? Need some biased advice from a crabby old baby-boomer? Read regularly by thousands and loved by some, Dear Crabby answers questions weekly to life's challenges. Send him a note at