Before you sign up for your first credit card, it is important to understand that building a good credit history is vital. Your credit history will affect how you make your purchases in your adult life. So, for many people, the big question is not whether they should get credit cards but rather at what age is appropriate for you to get a credit card.
For one to have a credit card, they must be responsible enough to know how to use them properly. To most people, getting a credit card at an early age is one of the best ways to learn how to use your card responsibly throughout your adult life. However, the right age to sign up will vary from person to person, depending on their personality and maturity.
If you are in your teenage years but are not sure whether you are ready for a credit card, continue reading for some guidelines. There is no right or wrong answer but, hopefully, these guidelines will help you make a sound judgment.
How Old Should You Be When You Get A Credit Card?
In most states, the average age to get a credit card is 21 years. Most card issuers want proof and assurance that you can independently manage a credit card before they issue one to you. If this is not possible, there is an option of signing under a co-signer, especially if you are below the age of 21.
Additionally, you must have a steady income before you sign up for a credit card. So before you even think of applying for a card, do you have a stable income? Can you pay card charges on time and in full? Failure to do so might lead you into debt, which is the last thing you want to get into at an early age.
If you are still in school, it is advisable to go for a credit card designed for students. This is because it is easy to be accepted even if you are starting out in your credit history. In addition, getting a secured credit card that comes with a minimum deposit against the credit limit is another good option. There are other great options for beginners, too, such as Capital One Secured MasterCard and the Discover It Secured.
Can I Get A Credit Card Before I Am 18 Years Old?
Getting a credit card before you are 18 is only possible if an adult adds you as an authorized user. This will enable you to have a card of your own, and make purchases whenever you want. However, the primary cardholder will be responsible for paying for the credit card. Nonetheless, you will have to pay for the purchases you make. You also stand a high chance of being approved should you apply for a credit card on your own when you old enough.
There is also an option of getting a prepaid card, which is easy to get at the early age of 18. This isn’t technically a credit card, but it can work as one. Applying for one is quite easy, and managing one is not as complicated as managing a credit card.
The only difference between a prepaid card and a credit card is that the former is paid for before you make any purchases, while, with the latter, you can pay for your purchases after you make them. Also, note that prepaid cards don’t help you build your credit history.
As you make your judgment, keep in mind that getting a credit card at an early age is not always necessary. With these cards, you stand a higher chance of getting into debt. Poor credit card management will ultimately hurt your credit history. Thus, it’s essential to at least wait till you have a stable job and can comfortably and consistently pay your debts on time.
There is no right or wrong age for securing a credit card; it all goes back to how responsible and mature you feel, it has nothing to do with age. However, as a parent, you can help your children in learning how to become responsible credit card users.