Getting your first credit card is a rite of passage for Americans, and one that often comes sooner than it should. Your first credit card is an excellent way to build your credit and show that you can be responsible about paying your bills.
However, there are some credit card companies that will take advantage of students and young people and charge them excessive interest or provide a credit limit that is higher than their income should allow. While there is no set age at which everyone should get their first credit card, here are some indicators that will help keep you (and your credit!) safe.
Consider Your Income
Credit card companies will start contacting you and offering you credit as soon as you turn 18 — which is considered the age of responsibility in terms of credit. If you’re still in high school or college, your earning power is likely limited due to the reduced number of hours that you have available to work, or you may not have a job at all. If you don’t have a monthly wage coming in, it probably isn’t in your best interest to start out with a credit card.
Responsible Credit Usage
What many young adults may not realize is that while having a credit card and paying it off every month can help your credit, being unable to pay it and having late fees every month will harm your credit!
Credit card companies and other organizations submit names every month of individuals who are late with payments, behind over 30 days and who are over their limit.
It’s best to wait until you have a full-time job that is stable enough to allow you to have a moderate credit card. That way, you’re protecting yourself from a poor credit rating, which can be difficult to overcome if you want to purchase a home or a car.
Have questions or ready to apply for credit cards in Richland County? Contact Palmetto Citizens Federal Credit Union today to learn more or apply online.