How old do you have to be to get a credit card?

Editor’s word: It is a recurring submit, often up to date with new data.

At TPG, it could go with out saying that we imagine everybody ought to have a bank card.

However after all, not everyone seems to be eligible to get a bank card. Once you apply for one, it’s essential to meet sure necessities like age and earnings stage to be authorised.

However simply how outdated do it’s important to be to begin incomes factors and miles and increase your credit score rating with a bank card? Let’s break down the necessities.

How outdated do it’s important to be to get a bank card?

Briefly, 18 is the minimal age required to get a bank card. Nevertheless, anybody below the age of 21 will face some further restrictions when making use of for many bank cards.

Associated: The best credit cards for 18-year-olds

Regulation and coverage

The Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009, also called the CARD Act, reshaped the best way card issuers are allowed to market to youthful individuals. Earlier than the CARD Act, it wasn’t unusual to see card issuers posted up on school campuses providing free T-shirts, pizza or frisbees to get college students to enroll in a card with advanced phrases and high-interest charges they most likely didn’t perceive.

Now with the CARD Act, nevertheless, issuers need to be at the very least 1,000 toes away from a university campus in the event that they’re giving out free items in alternate for functions. The CARD Act additionally prohibits banks from issuing bank cards to anybody below 21 except they’ve a co-signer or sufficient earnings to repay the cardboard, permitting banks to ask for verification of your earnings.


This implies that you would be able to get a bank card for those who’re over the age of 18, however you may want both a co-signer or to have the ability to show that you’ve got sufficient earnings to qualify for the cardboard. In the event you’re a pupil, you can’t rely monetary support as a part of your earnings on a bank card utility, however you possibly can embody cash another person often deposits into your account. So if somebody transfers cash often that can assist you pay your payments, you possibly can rely that as a part of your earnings in your utility.

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Capital One’s coverage on the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card utility, for instance, states:

Chances are you’ll embody private earnings, which is earnings you might have earned, together with full-time, part-time, or seasonal jobs, self-employment, curiosity or dividends, retirement, and public help. You might also embody shared earnings, which is cash from anyone else that’s often deposited into your particular person account or right into a joint account that individual shares with you. If you’re 21 or over, you might also embody anyone else’s earnings that’s often used to pay your bills.

After all, be certain to fastidiously learn the wonderful print on any utility you fill out to make sure that you’re claiming solely the earnings that you’re allowed.

However having the ability to get a bank card does not imply you’ll get any bank card. That is as a result of some banks add additional restrictions past what the CARD Act imposes. Chase, for instance, requires you to be 19 or above for those who reside in Alabama or Nebraska and 21 or older for those who reside in Puerto Rico. It’s unclear whether or not the banks would even mean you can proceed with an utility for those who don’t meet the age necessities, however a fast search by means of the phrases and circumstances of the provide web page may probably prevent an enormous headache and a wasted credit score pull.

The knowledge for the Capital One Savor Card has been collected independently by The Factors Man. The cardboard particulars on this web page haven’t been reviewed or supplied by the cardboard issuer.

Associated: A college student debunks these 5 credit card myths

Change into a certified person

Even when age or earnings retains you from getting a bank card in your individual title, you possibly can ask a dad or mum or good friend so as to add you as an authorized user on their bank card.

Being added as a certified on an present credit score account is a superb technique to boost your credit score and enhance your capability to be authorised whenever you apply for bank cards sooner or later. About 15% of your credit score is predicated in your size of credit score historical past, also called the common age of accounts. Being a certified person permits the first account holder’s credit score historical past to spice up yours as effectively. Banks use this as a severe consider figuring out how creditworthy you might be, and so they’re extra more likely to lengthen you a line of credit score when you’ve got a protracted historical past of paying it again on time.

Associated: Adding your kids as authorized users to your credit cards

What card must you get?

When you’re eligible, you’ll want to do a couple of issues earlier than you apply for a bank card. First, be sure to’ve learn our credit card beginner guide and are able to observe the 10 commandments of credit card rewards. Understanding how credit score works and a plan to make use of your card responsibly on the entrance finish will preserve you from making pricey errors.


After you have a plan, you can begin bank cards and select the one you wish to begin with. If the choices really feel overwhelming, take a look at our favourite playing cards for college students and for building credit.

Associated: How college students can use a credit card responsibly

Backside line

You must be at the very least 18 to use for a bank card, however the CARD Act added some further restrictions for candidates below the age of 21. Once you’re prepared to use for a bank card, make sure to learn its particular necessities earlier than submitting your utility.

In the event you can’t get your individual bank card, you possibly can work on constructing and enhancing your credit score by being added as a certified person on another person’s account.

Irrespective of how or whenever you get a bank card, guarantee you might be prepared to make use of it responsibly and set your self up for a lifetime of incomes and touring with factors and miles.

For extra on bank cards for faculty college students, see the next:

Extra reporting by Ethan Steinberg and Benét J. Wilson.

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