Personal Finance

What I Got My Son for Christmas

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This year, as a special Christmas gift for my 2½-year-old, I opened him a savings account with our credit union. Now keep in mind it's been over 20 years since I opened any sort of deposit account with a financial institution, so I wasn't exactly sure what I needed to do. And since I had no interest in having to come back four times for lack of proper documentation (think DMV people), I brought everything plus a change of diapers. You would have thought I was trying to borrow mortgage-sized money.

And as the line behind me grew longer and longer, the lovely teller could tell I was getting frustrated with her line of questioning. 'Do you have his driver's license number? Do you know if he's ever bounced a check? We're going to have to check his Equifax before we open the account. Do you want him to have online access to the account or an ATM card?" How many times can you answer different questions with the same answer? 'He's 2 years old, and while he's wanted in 9 states for an old Ponzi scheme… he's never bounced a check."

The upside to all of this is an established relationship with a recognized financial institution and the future benefit of compound interest, albeit $195 at 1.25% annually. So just in case we ever go back to true relationship-style banking, he'll have that to fall back on.

I wonder how long it will be before he gets his first credit card offer in the mail. I'm guessing before he turns 3.  

John Ulzheimer – Credit scoring and credit reporting expert and author, John is the President of Consumer Education for Formerly with Equifax and Fair Isaac, John shares his unique insight of the inner workings of credit scoring models and the credit reporting industry on

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