I am one big statistic when it comes to financial woes. In my opinion, you should have to be at least 21 to obtain credit. That's the age where I finally got some sense. By then it was to late. I'm kicking myself for falling victim to credit cards, but rejoicing that I fucked up at a young age. Before my 30th birthday, the slate will be wiped clean (THANK GOD!).
At this point in my life, I distrust credit cards & banks. True enough, I've held 2 banking positions, but I still don't trust their practices. Any institution that uses ChexSystems can kiss my ass. My recommendations are as follows:
- Get a prepaid credit card. I recommend Russel Simmons' Rush Card. I have both a Rush Card & BabyPhat Card. I use the Rush Card for bills, income, and business purposes. I use the BabyPhat Card for play. The biggest benefit is all the spending power a Visa gives you, without interest rates or overdraft fees. A definite plus!
- Open an account with a Credit Union. Credit Unions have "members" instead of customers. You often have to keep a small amount in your savings account to claim your share. Members are treated like investors & are even given dividends. They are also smaller so if a problem arises, it's easier to get it taken care of without dialing a bunch of 1-800 #s. I use this account to save money.