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    How Old Do You Have To Be To Get A Credit Card?

    Read on to learn the essentials for first-time credit applicants, including the minimum age for having your own card, and review several of the best cards available for young cardholders.

    CREDIT CARDS

    How old do you have to be to get a credit card?

    Dean Drobot/Shutterstock.com

    Written by Kiara Taylor

    Edited By Grace Pilling

    Reviewed By Claire Dickey

    Jan. 24, 2022 / 2 min read

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    At Bankrate we strive to help you make smarter financial decisions. While we adhere to strict , this post may contain references to products from our partners. Here's an explanation for . The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date; however, some of the offers mentioned may have expired. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

    Building solid credit is one of the most important tasks in a young person’s life. In our increasingly cashless society, showing you can responsibly use a credit card is one step on the road to financial independence. The sooner you begin, the faster you can establish your creditworthiness. That said, the minimum age to be a primary cardholder for most card issuers is 18, and getting a credit card before age 21 is not always simple.

    Here’s a quick guide to essential information for first-time credit applicants, including the minimum age for having your own card.

    How old do you have to be to get a credit card?

    The general rule of thumb for the credit card industry is that cardholders must be at least 18 years of age. However, if you are under 21 and lack a credit history or have a credit history that’s not great, most credit card issuers will require you to show proof of income to verify that you can independently pay your bills.

    If you’re 18 but don’t have the income required for a traditional credit card, you can apply with a cosigner or try for a secured credit card, which requires you to put down a security deposit that acts as the card’s credit limit.

    If you’re under 18, many issuers have a lower minimum age for authorized users than for new cardholders. An authorized user has access to someone else’s account and credit limit but the primary cardholder pays the balance. Many credit issuers report on authorized users to the credit bureaus, meaning your credit score will likely benefit from being an authorized user. That said, if the primary cardholder has poor credit habits themselves, like a history of late or missed payments or high credit utilization, it’s possible their choices will have a negative impact on your credit score.

    How to start building credit

    Once you have a card, you must use it responsibly. Starting out with good credit habits can help you build your credit score in no time. Keep in mind the factors that the credit bureaus will consider when determining your credit score: payment history, credit utilization, age of credit, credit mix and new credit.

    When just starting out with credit, it can be tempting to splurge with your newly available funds. However, it’s important to only spend within your means to avoid getting into credit card debt. Using your credit card only for purchases you know you can pay off at the end of the month, keeping your credit utilization (how much of your available credit you’re using) under 30 percent and paying your credit card bill on time and in full are some of the most important things you can do to keep your credit score up.

    Start with one card and work on building your credit for at least six months before you apply for another. Taking the time to develop a good credit score will open up a whole new tier of credit cards with better rewards, better rates and better welcome bonuses.

    The bottom line

    Turning 18 opens the door for a number of new financial opportunities with credit. Whether you apply for a starter credit card, a secured card with a deposit or ask to be an authorized user on someone else’s account, make sure you use your credit responsibly and are diligent about making payments on time. Learning good financial habits now will set you on the right track for excellent credit and even more opportunities in the future.

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    Source : www.bankrate.com

    How old do you have to be to get a credit card?

    While you need to be 18 to enter into a credit card agreement, qualifying for a credit card before you turn 21 isn't easy.

    Credit Card Marketplace

    How old do you have to be to get a credit card?

    While you need to be 18 to enter into a credit card agreement, qualifying for a credit card before you turn 21 may not always be easy. This article will cover different options available to get a credit card if you're under 21 and signs that you might be ready for your first card:

    When can I get a credit card?

    Is there any way to have access to a card before I'm 18?

    Three signs that you might be ready to get a card

    What are my options for my first credit card?

    Applying for a credit card after 21

    At what age can you get a credit card?

    You'll need to be at least 18 years old to sign a credit card contract; however, since the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009, getting an unsecured credit card before you turn 21 isn't easy. You'll need to show proof that you have a steady source of income to qualify.

    If you can't show a source of income, such as a job, you'll need to have a cosigner on the card or ask to be an authorized user on a friend or relative's credit card.

    Is there any way to have access to a card before I'm 18?

    There are two ways to have access to a card before you're 18:

    Authorized user

    If you want a card and you're under 18, you can have access to a card by becoming an authorized user on someone else's card (typically a parent or legal guardian). Some issuers have minimum age requirements for becoming an authorized user. As an authorized user you'll get your own card, but the primary cardmember is responsible for your credit card spending. Being an authorized user can help you begin to build a positive credit history, assuming the credit card issuer reports authorized user activity to the credit bureaus and the cardmember is paying balances on time.

    Prepaid card

    You could also get a prepaid card, which isn't a credit card. Activity on it isn't reported to credit bureaus, so it won't help build credit. With a prepaid card, you'll still be able to make purchases online and in-person the same way you can with a credit card, but it isn't connected to a line of credit. Instead, the card is prepaid ahead of time. Keep in mind that prepaid card activity isn't reported to the credit bureaus, so this won't help you build credit.

    Three signs you might be ready to get a card

    Three signs that you might be ready to get your first credit card include:

    You know how to stick to a budget: While getting a credit card can feel like you're receiving "free" money, it's important to remember that it's a loan. If you can't pay it back on time, you'll quickly wind up in financial quicksand by having to pay high credit card interest rates on top of money owed. That's why it's important to know how to create and stick to a budget before receiving a card.You want to start building credit history: A positive credit history can help you with securing loans and having access to the best interest rates.You have a steady income: You have a steady stream of income coming in each month to pay your bill. Keep in mind that this income should be able to cover your living expenses, credit card bills and extra leftover for savings.

    What are my options for my first credit card?

    Options for a first credit card include:

    Authorized user card

    Assuming the credit card issuer reports authorized user activity to the credit bureaus, you can be added as an authorized user to a card to begin building a credit history and learn how to manage a credit card.

    Secured credit card

    You could use a secured credit card. The difference between a secured credit card and an unsecured credit card is that with a secured credit card you put a cash deposit down for the amount that you want in credit on the card. This money acts as collateral in the event that you default on your payments.

    While Chase does not offer secured credit cards, check with your credit card issuer to see if they do.

    Student credit card

    Student credit cards are intended for individuals who have not yet built up credit histories. They are usually easier to qualify for than regular credit cards and often have lower credit limits, but may have higher interest rates.

    Applying for a credit card after 21

    If you're older than 21, issuers will look at your credit report and history to determine if you'll be approved for a card. Your history of payments and debts are two of the most important factors that will be examined. Once you get a credit card, you'll start building a credit history, which can help you get approved for loans and good interest rates down the road.

    Find a credit card

    Source : www.chase.com

    How Old Do You Have To Be To Get A Credit Card? – Forbes Advisor

    Getting a credit card is usually viewed as the first and most important step to building a credit history. Americans aged 21 and older have an easier chance of getting a credit card with decent rewards offers as long as they already have a credit history. Parents can also opt to sign up teenagers yo

    Advisor Credit Cards

    Advertiser Disclosure

    How Old Do You Have To Be To Get A Credit Card?

    Chauncey Crail,  Dia Adams

    Contributor,  Editor

    Updated: Nov 4, 2021, 2:59pm

    Editorial Note: We earn a commission from partner links on Forbes Advisor. Commissions do not affect our editors' opinions or evaluations.

    Getty

    Getting a credit card is usually viewed as the first and most important step to building a credit history. Americans aged 21 and older have an easier chance of getting a credit card with decent rewards offers as long as they already have a credit history. Parents can also opt to sign up teenagers younger than 18 as authorized users depending on the card issuer.

    The legal age for someone to sign up for his or her own credit card is 18 years old in the U.S., but parents can opt to sign up teenagers younger than 18 as authorized users, depending on the card issuer. The Credit CARD Act of 2009 requires that 18-to-20-year-olds must either have a cosigner or provide proof of income or regular allowances in order to be approved for a first credit card.

    As empowering as a first credit card can be, don’t forget that with power comes responsibility. First-time cardholders should be extra cautious when making purchases with a credit card. Don’t buy something that can’t be paid for in cash. Pay off the entire balance every month to avoid paying interest. Pay the bill on time every month to avoid late fees and protect credit history. Avoid allowing a credit card to levy fees on its convenience and security with responsible use.

    How to Get a Credit Card If You’re 18 to 20 Years Old

    First-time cardholders at this age may be college students, in trade school or already working for a living. Having a credit card handy is useful not only for making everyday purchases but also for earning rewards like cash back. First-time cardholders should look for cards like student credit cards, secured cards or cards designed for people with little to no credit history—these will be easier to be approved for.

    Get a Secured Credit Card

    Secured credit cards are a good option when no cosigner is available. Applicants will have to pay a security deposit to the issuer (usually at least $500) which becomes the card’s credit limit. A secured card works much the same as a regular credit card—the cardholder can use it to make purchases up to the credit limit and must pay off the balance each month. Once the cardholder closes the account and pays off the entire balance (including interest and fees), the security deposit will be returned.

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    Become an Authorized User

    Becoming an authorized user is an easy way to get a credit card quickly without having to fill out a lengthy application. An authorized user often gets his or her own credit card with the authorized user’s name on it. Ask a parent, guardian, friend or other family member who might be comfortable adding someone to his or her account to add you as an authorized user. Some card issuers charge a small fee to add authorized users.

    Source : www.forbes.com

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