Can you get a credit card at 16? Yes, you finally get to turn 16. And in many cases, you can at that age get a driver’s license, donate blood, and in some states with consent from your parents and even get a later curfew. But the thing here is can you get a credit card at 16? Well here is everything you need to know in regards to that.
Can You Get a Credit Card At 16
You should know that you cannot get your own credit card if it is that you are still under the age of 18 unfortunately. But there is however a way around it as you can become an authorized user.
Even after you get to turn 18, the Credit CARD Act of 2009 states that you will need to have either proof of independent income or a cosigner that is over the age of 21. And since most card issuers do not let cosigners that simply mean that you will generally need to be at least the age of 18 and also have income through a job or scholarship just before you can get your very own starter credit card. With that being said, if you are under the age of 18, then your best bet at having your own credit card is to become an authorized user on another person’s credit card.
What Credit Cards Can 16-Year-Olds Get?
As a 16-year-old, you should know that your only real entrance into the credit card kingdom is to become an authorized user on the card of a trusted adult. For the sake of simplicity, let’s just say that is one of your parents.
All of the major credit card issuers and dealers let authorized users who are 16. And many of them in question has no minimum age requirements whatsoever, thus meaning that you could become an authorized user as soon as your parents decide that you are ready.
As an authorized user, you should know that you will receive your very own credit card with your name on it and everything, but it will however have the same number as the credit card of your parents.
And while you will be able to make purchases on the credit card with the permission of your parent, of course, you will not be legally responsible for the bill. You should just be sure to know whether your parents expect you to cover most or all of your spending, and you should also know that they will get a detailed breakdown of everything that you get to spend.
The Impact of Becoming an Authorized User on Your Credit
As a 16-year-old, then you probably do not have a credit report because you have not taken out credit yet. And when your parents get to add you as an authorized user, the credit card issuer will then report the new account to the credit bureaus which will then, in turn, generate a credit report.
And if it is that your parent’s credit card is in good standing, if it is that they are carrying a low balance and then paying their bill on time, then you should know that getting added as an authorized user will likely help build your credit scores. That is why it is very important to only become an authorized user on the card of an adult with good financial habits and practices.
Another crucial thing you need to check is whether the credit card issuer of your parents reports the behavior of underage authorized users to all of the three major credit bureaus. And while American Express and Wells Fargo let underage authorized users, for instance, they will not report your behavior to the credit bureaus until you get to turn 18.
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