When you’re struggling to pay off payday loan lenders, or trying to avoiding getting another payday loan, the last thing you need is more fees added to your financial mess. However, if you give in to the pleadings of your kids, this may be exactly what happens to you.
Pop music sensation Justin Bieber has begun promoting a prepaid debit card, known as the SpendSmart card. Bieber’s YouTube video promoting the card targets his youthful fan base.
The name of the card and Bieber’s video tout this as a way to teach young people how to spend responsibly. This is because the card’s user has to keep track of how much is put on the card and how much is spent before it runs out of money.
However, smart spending doesn’t include paying someone else for the privilege of using your own money, which is what SpendSmart users are doing by paying the fees associated with the card. At least when you pay payday loan lenders, you are paying to use the lender’s money and not your own.
Just to use the card, there is a monthly fee of $3.95. If you don’t use the card for 90 days, there is an additional charge of $3. Anytime you want to put money on the card, you are charged a fee: 75 cents to load from a bank account and $2.95 if you load it from a credit card or another debit card.
Anytime you use it at an ATM, you will be charged a fee: $1.50 for withdrawing cash and 50 cents just to check your balance.
Extra fees can result in not being able to pay off payday loan lenders
None of these fees are very large, but it is easy to see how they could add up quickly, especially when they are being used by your kids. Plus, if they are loading the card with your money, that is less money available to pay off payday loan lenders.
The company does offer some nice features designed specifically for parents who get the cards for their teenagers, such as the option for the parents to be alerted with a text or smartphone app whenever a purchase is made. Also, parents can block purchases and even lock the card to prevent anyone from using it.
These are features that could definitely help parents keep their children from making too many mistakes, so it could certainly be something to consider if you aren’t struggling to pay off payday loan lenders.
The reality is though that too many people, probably in the millions, will be getting the SpendSmart card purely because Bieber promotes it. This is, of course, anything but spending smartly.
When your teenagers want something, it can be difficult for parents to put their feet down and tell their children, “no.” If you want to pay off that payday loan, or even avoid getting another one, you have to be strong and let your teens know that this if for their own good.
Your teens may not like being told they can’t something they want, but it is better than being saddled with debt from a payday loan lender any longer than necessary.