By law, Americans cannot get a credit card before they are 18 years old. But that doesn’t mean that people younger than 18 can’t use credit cards at all. An adult can add a minor as an authorized user on their credit card account and share their credit line with the user. While specific credit card issuers may set their own age limits, there is no legal minimum age for someone to become an authorized user. Being an authorized user can give a child the opportunity to learn about fiscal responsibility. In addition, it offers them the opportunity to build credit, as information from a credit card account will also appear on the credit reports of any authorized users. Parents who are worried if their child will really be on their best behavior can set spending limits or make it so that transactions must be approved.
In order to learn more about the attitudes that parents have toward making their children authorized users, WalletHub conducted a nationally-representative online survey. We asked about everything from the reasons behind giving their kids a credit card to the percentage of parents whose kids have used their credit card without permission. You can find the complete results in the infographic below.
- A new nationally representative WalletHub survey found that moms are 3.6X more likely than dads to give their child a credit card - why do you think that is?
- It's no coincidence that more than 60% of kids with credit cards attend private school, is it?
- What explains 2.4X more daughters having credit cards than sons?
- Why do you think dads are 3.4X more likely than moms to monitor their kids'credit card spending? Should parents closely monitor their kids' spending?
- In your opinion, what is an appropriate age to give one's child a credit card?
Ask the Experts
|Which of the following does your child have? (select all that apply)|
|None of the above||8%|
|Does your child receive an allowance?|
|Does your child attend public or private school?|
|Which should a young person get first?|
|Their own cell phone||97%|
|Their own credit card||3%|
|How old do you have to be to get a credit card with your name on it?|
|18 years old||56%|
|21 years old||21%|
|Which are you most comfortable talking to your kids about?|
|Should schools teach kids about responsible credit card use?|
|Do you monitor your kids' spending?|
|Do you feel financially secure?|
|Should children have to take a test before they can get a credit card, like with driving?|
|Do you have credit card debt?|
|Has your child ever used your credit card without permission?|
|What is the biggest reason why you think a child SHOULD have a credit card before turning 18?|
|Easier to track their spending||25%|
|Convenience for them||6%|
|Convenience for me||6%|
Note: Percentages may not total 100% due to rounding.