Did you know that over 183 million Americans have a credit card? Americans under 35 make 58.9 percent of all credit cardholders.
Since there are so many young people who have a credit card, you might wonder at what age can you get a credit card.
In this article, we’ll break down the average age you should be to get your first credit card.
What is the Perfect Age to Get a Credit Card?
Although for many credit card companies you need to be of legal age to obtain a credit card, there’s no “perfect” age to get a credit card. You can get a credit card at any age as long as you’re financially capable and responsible for your credit card.
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Ideally, you should be able to afford to pay off your balance in full at the end of the month without neglecting your other bills. Even though a credit card is a great way to start building your credit, the last thing you want is to pay additional interest and other late fees.
Aside from being responsible for paying credit card bill on time, you also need to have the income necessary to pay it. As long as you have a steady source of income, then you can apply for a credit card.
Can You Get a Credit Card Before 18?
The short answer is no. You cannot apply for a credit card under your name if you’re under the age of 18.
However, you can still obtain a credit card if someone adds you as an authorized user. An authorized user is usually a parent who has a credit card under their name. The credit card will say the name of the authorized user, but the account will be under the name of the primary cardholder.
As an authorized user, you can make payments to the credit card, but the primary cardholder is the only one held financially responsible for the account.
Being an authorized user can teach many skills about responsible spending that will be useful in the future.
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The downside is that none of the payments you make will count towards building your credit since you’re only an authorized user.
Getting a Credit Card at 18
Once you turn 18, you will be able to apply for a credit card under your name. However, getting a credit card might still prove challenging when you don’t have any credit history. Many credit card companies don’t want to take chances with a young adult that has no established credit history.
If you just turned 18 and you want to get a credit card, don’t be discouraged, there are many ways you can obtain one. Although some cards have tough requirements for people without a credit history, you can qualify for a card if you can prove you have a reliable source of income.
Are you a college student? There are many credit cards especially, for enrolled college students. The great thing about these cards is they know you have limited to zero credit history.
Secured credit cards are another great option for people without a credit history. To obtain a secured credit card, you will have to give down a deposit. The amount of the deposit will be your credit limit.
This way if you fail to make the payments, the lender will have your deposit. A secured credit card is a great way to build your credit.
Another way you can obtain a card without a credit history is by adding a co-signer. If you add a creditworthy cosigner, you will have a better chance of qualifying for a credit card.
At What Age Can You Get a Credit Card: The Bottom Line
Although there’s no perfect age to obtain a credit card, you should only apply for one when you have a source of income, you’re financially responsible, and know all of your options.
At what age can you get a credit card depends on when you’re ready to handle the financial obligation.
Are you ready to obtain your first credit card? Check out these credit card options for people with no credit.