6-year-old approved for credit card

June 18, 2008 4:43:40 PM PDT
Do you get tired of all those credit offers that stuff your mailbox?One family found even their 6-year-old son was getting offers for pre-approved credit cards. They decided to fill out the form and send it in. The card arrived a few days later.

This summer, Bennett Christiansen will make the most of his bike, sometimes patiently riding alongside his younger sister. For a brief moment, Bennett entertained a summer of new toys purchased on his new credit card.

Bennett's parents say a barrage of credit card applications in the mail one day, including two for Bennett and two for 3-year-old Lindsay, prompted them to return the favor by filling out an application for Bennett.

"Bennett saw there was one for him and he said, 'Can I apply for a credit card?' I thought, why not? If they can annoy me by jamming my mailbox, I'm going to do the same," said Amy Christiansen, mom.

A few weeks later, Bennett received a credit card from Bank of America with a $600 limit.

"If he were 10 or 12 and going through the mail before I did, he could have gotten a credit card," said Amy Christiansen.

A spokeswoman for Bank of America said they don't knowingly solicit or grant credit cards to minors. In this case, she said, it was human error. Someone incorrectly entered information into their system. She also says Bennett's credit card will be cancelled.

"They should pay more attention to who they're giving the credit card to. If they had paid attention to the birth date, 2002, they would have seen there was a problem," said Amy Christiansen.

Bennett doesn't really understand why he's getting all of this attention. His parents hope that someday this will be part of a real life lesson about financial responsibility and avoiding credit card debt.


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