A 16 year old can build credit by becoming an authorized user on an adult’s credit card account. You cannot get your own credit card account until you turn 18 and you’re able to demonstrate enough independent income to make monthly bill payments. But being an authorized user will help you build credit in the meantime, as long as the primary accountholder pay the bills by the due date.
How to Build Credit as an Authorized User
When you become an authorized user on someone else’s account, you receive a card connected to that person’s account and are able to make purchases drawing on their credit limit.
The account holder is responsible for making payments, but the account information will appear on your credit report, too. Being an authorized user won’t help you build credit as quickly as with your own card, but it’s certainly worthwhile.
No, you can’t get your own credit card account at 16 because the law prohibits issuers from offering credit cards to anyone under 18 years old. The only way to get access to a credit card at 16 years old is if a friend or family member makes you an… read full answerauthorized user on their account. You won’t be responsible for bill payments as an authorized user, but you will build credit as long as the primary cardholder pays on time.
Alternatives to Getting a Credit Card at 16
Become an authorized user: There’s generally no minimum age requirement for authorized users. You may get your own card that’s connected to the cardholder’s account, and any purchases you make will show up on your credit card statement.
The primary cardholder is the one responsible for paying. This is a great way to build credit. However, you won’t build it as quickly as you would with your own card.
Cards to consider: You can get your own credit card account when you’re 18, as long as you have enough independent income for monthly bill payments. You should get a student credit card if you go to college, as they tend to have much better terms than other starter credit cards. A secured credit card is a good backup plan, too.
Get a debit card: This won’t help you build credit, and you won’t be able to borrow money. But a debit card linked to your checking account will free you from having to carry cash all the time.
You can get a credit card at 16. You just can’t get an account in your own name. But if someone is willing to add you as an authorized user, you can start learning about, using, and building credit. And in a couple years, you’ll be able to get your first card.
The only way to get a credit card when you’re under 18 years old is to become an authorized user on an adult’s credit card account. You cannot get your own credit card account until you turn 18 and you’re able to demonstrate enough independent income to make monthly bill payments… read full answer.
However, being an authorized user will help you build credit in the meantime, as long as the primary accountholder pay the bills by the due date.
Alternatives to getting a credit card if you’re under 18:
Become an authorized user: If you know someone else who has a credit card (like your parent) you can become an authorized user on their credit account. You’ll get your own card that’s connected to the cardholder’s account, and any purchases you make will show up on their statement.
The primary cardholder is the one responsible for paying. This is a great way to build credit, although you won’t build it as quickly as you would with your own card.
Take out a loan.Credit-builder loans are sometimes available to people under 18 who have a cosigner (someone with established credit who takes responsibility if you default). But it will be more difficult than getting a loan at age 18.
Use a debit card. You can’t build credit with debit cards, but they can make everyday spending more convenient. And there’s no need to worry about going into debt because you’ll be spending the money from your checking account, not borrowing anything.
You’ll definitely need to wait until you’re 18 to get a credit card account in your own name. But being an authorized user is still a very useful way to build credit and practice using a credit card responsibly. Then, once you turn 18, you’ll already have some credit history and may be eligible for better offers right off the bat. You can track your progress with WalletHub’s free daily credit score updates.
There are several credit cards you can get if you are a high school student, and you are at least 18 years old. But until you are 21 years old, you need to either have a proof of steady income that demonstrates your ability to pay back the debt, or have a co-signer who is at least 21 years old on the application. For the latter, the co-signer agrees to assume responsibility for your account, meaning they’re liable for any of your unpaid debt.… read full answer
These requirements are mandated under the Credit Card Act. Its intent is to prevent teenagers and young adults from running up credit card debts they can’t pay back. So, if you’re under 21 and have the income or a co-signer, you have a number of credit card options to help you begin building credit.
Citi® Secured Mastercard® is a secured credit card, so a minimum $200 deposit is required. The card’s annual fee is $0.
As student credit cards are limited to those enrolled in college, you can choose a traditional credit card designed for people with limited credit. An alternative would be a secured credit card. They’re easier to get than unsecured credit cards, and typically don’t come with any fees. But you will have to put down a security deposit to open the account. The amount of the deposit determines your credit limit and is fully refundable when you close the account in good standing.
Ultimately, if you still don’t have an income or a co-signer, you can sign on to another person’s existing credit card account as an authorized user. You’ll receive a card with your name that’s linked to the primary cardholder. You’ll be able to use the primary cardholder’s good credit history to help build your own. The drawback is, if the primary cardholder’s credit score takes a dive, yours will also take a negative hit.
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