Your 18th birthday comes with a lot of new possibilities. You’re officially considered an adult, which means that you’re legally granted more rights and responsibilities than you’ve ever had. You can vote in national and local elections (as long as you’ve registered beforehand). You can get married without requiring the permission of a parent or guardian. And you’ll be free to open checking accounts and savings accounts on your own.
What about credit accounts? Are you allowed to get a credit card once you’ve turned 18? The answer to these questions is complicated. Learn about how your age can affect your ability to access credit.
Age Restrictions with Credit Cards
The CARD Act (the Credit Card Accountability and Responsibility and Disclosure Act) of 2009 placed new regulations for credit card issuers in order to help everyday consumers avoid stumbling into financial trouble. One of those regulations was limiting the age of credit card applicants. Applicants that are 21 years old and above can apply for a credit card on their own. Although 18 years old is the legal age of the majority, it is not old enough to own a credit card account independently.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t own a credit card between the ages of 18-20. If you’re between these ages, you will have to meet certain strict requirements in order to increase your chances of account approval. One requirement is that you must have a steady source of income. Your issuer will want proof that you can afford to pay down any balance that you build on your credit card. Another requirement is that you will need to have a co-signer.
What is a Co-signer?
A co-signer is a person who agrees to be legally responsible for missed payments that a loan’s primary borrower misses. So, if you can’t pay down your credit card balance, that responsibility will be placed on the shoulders of your co-signer. Credit card issuers (along with other lenders) typically require co-signers to minimize the lending risk. By having a reliable co-signer, the issuer can improve their chances of receiving repayments on time and avoiding defaults.
Co-signers are often family members. If you can convince a parent or guardian to be your co-signer, you might have a credit card application approved before you turn 21.
Becoming an Authorized User
Getting a co-signer isn’t the only way that you can access a credit card between the ages of 18 and 20. If your parent or guardian is open to the idea, they could add you as an authorized user onto one of their existing credit card accounts. As an authorized user, you would have access to that account. You would have a copy of your own card, which you could make charges to.
This arrangement allows young consumers to build up their credit history without having independent credit card accounts. The credit history will make it easier to apply for other accounts in the future, including your own personal credit card when you’re 21 years old (or older).
It also gives young consumers the experience of managing credit under the watchful eye of a more experienced credit-user (typically a parent or guardian). The presence of an authorized user can encourage them to take their credit use more seriously and dissuade them from adding unnecessary charges to the card.
An Alternative Credit Option
Credit cards aren’t the only way that you can attain credit. There are other ways to borrow. For instance, you could go to the website CreditFresh and apply for a personal line of credit loan. With an approved personal line of credit loan, you can request a withdrawal within your credit limit. That withdrawal can be transferred into your bank account. After you’ve spent the borrowed funds, you can follow a repayment plan through a monthly billing cycle. It’s that simple.
Are there age restrictions? You must be of legal age of contract in your state to apply for a personal line of credit loan. This is likely 18 years old. Much like a credit card application, you will also have to meet other qualifications to be eligible for this borrowing option. You will need an active bank account, an active email address and a steady source of income. If you meet all of these qualifications, you should be able to submit an application. That application could get approved.
Personal line of credit loans should only be used for emergency purposes. They’re not meant for everyday spending like buying groceries or paying off a bill. So, you shouldn’t turn to this borrowing option until it’s absolutely necessary.
You can still access credit once you are 18, you just have to know how to do it. You can get a co-signer for a credit card, get added as an authorized user for someone else’s card or try another borrowing option. Choose the credit option that works for you.
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FAQs – Are You Old Enough for Credit?
What age can you get a credit card
How Old Do You Have to Get a Credit Card? The minimum age requirement to obtain a credit card varies depending on the country and the specific financial institution’s policies.The minimum age to get a credit card is typically 18-19 years old.
Can you get a credit card at 17?
How Old Do You Have to Get a Credit Card? The ability to get a credit card at 17 years old depends on the country and the specific policies of the financial institution. In some countries, it may be possible for individuals who are 17 years old to obtain a credit card, but there are certain considerations to keep in mind
Can you get a credit card at 13?
No, it is generally not possible to obtain a credit card at the age of 13. Most financial institutions have minimum age requirements for credit card applications, and 13 years old is typically below the minimum age limit.
How Old Do You Have to Get a Credit Card
The minimum age requirement to have a credit card varies depending on the country and the specific policies of financial institutions. Here are some general guidelines:
United States: In the United States, the minimum age to have a credit card is typically 18 years old. However, individuals under 21 years of age are required to demonstrate independent income or have a co-signer (usually a parent or guardian) to be eligible for a credit card.
Canada: In Canada, the minimum age to have a credit card varies by province or territory. Generally, the minimum age is 18 or 19 years old, depending on the region.
United Kingdom: In the United Kingdom, the minimum age to have a credit card is 18 years old.
Australia: In Australia, the minimum age to have a credit card is typically 18 years old. Some financial institutions may offer “low-limit” or “starter” credit cards specifically designed for individuals aged 16 or 17 with parental consent.
Other Countries: Credit card age requirements vary across different countries. It is advisable to check with local financial institutions or banks to determine the minimum age for having a credit card in your specific location.
It’s important to note that having a credit card comes with responsibilities. Before applying for a credit card, it’s essential to understand the terms, interest rates, fees, and the responsibility that comes with managing credit. Building good credit habits, such as making timely payments and staying within your credit limit, is crucial for maintaining a healthy credit profile.
If you are below the minimum age requirement to have a credit card, there may be alternative options available, such as prepaid debit cards or joint accounts with a parent or guardian. These options can help introduce responsible money management and financial literacy at a younger age.