Can You Get A Credit Card If You're Not Yet 18

Triston Martin

Dec 31, 2022

In most people's minds, getting a credit card is the first and most crucial step in establishing a positive credit history. However, while 18 is the "magic age" for obtaining a credit card, Americans over 21 with a credit history have a better chance of being approved for a card with attractive benefits. Parents may add minors as approved users depending on the card issuer.

How Old To Get A Credit Card?

The minimum age to apply for a credit card in the United States is 18. However, some card issuers allow parents to add minors as authorized users. Credit card applicants between 18 and 20 are required under the Credit CARD Act of 2009 to provide proof of income or monthly allowances to get a card in their own name.

Advice For Young Adults Applying for Their First Credit Card

People applying for their first credit card at this age may be in higher education, vocational training, or the workforce. The convenience of using a credit card for everyday transactions is matched only by the value of the incentives it may provide, such as cash back. First-time cardholders could look at student credit cards, secured credit cards, or cards specifically tailored to those with limited or no credit history.

Apply For A Credit Card with a Security Deposit

For those who cannot get a cosigner, secured credit cards might be a good alternative. The card's credit limit is equal to the amount of the applicant's security deposit. The user of a secured card can make purchases up to the card's credit limit and must pay off the card's balance in full each month, just like with a traditional credit card. The security deposit will be refunded to the cardholder after the account is closed and the final balance is paid in full.

Participate As A Trusted User

You can fill out a partial application when you're an authorized user on someone else's credit card. It is common practice for a credit card issuer to provide an authorized user with their card in their name.

To become an authorized user, you must first have a parent, guardian, friend, or family member who is comfortable adding you to their account. Adding an authorized user to your credit card account may incur a cost with some card issuers.

Acquire a Student Credit Card

These credit cards are tailored to the unique needs of those with limited or no credit history but between the ages of 18 and 22. Discover it® Student Cash Back is a great choice for those needing their first credit card.

After the introductory period ends, the standard variable purchase APR of 16.74% - 25.74% will apply to any new purchases made on the card. In addition, once activated, cardholders can earn 6% cash back on purchases at a rotating selection of merchants each quarter.

Use a Cosigner

Credit card applicants between 18 and 20 need either a cosigner or proof of job or income to be authorized. Using this data, the issuer may be certain that the cardholder will be able to make their minimum monthly payments on time and can set the appropriate credit limit for the new cardholder.

Obtaining a Credit Card After Turning 21

Anyone over 21 can apply for a credit card independently, regardless of their financial situation. Credit card choices would improve for these applicants as they age, especially if they established credit as a student or as an authorized user when they were younger.

Although cosigners aren't required, they can be useful if an applicant has a poor credit score or is seeking a high-end credit card with valuable additional advantages, bonuses, and reward possibilities, provided by the issuing bank.


Although becoming an authorized user on a parent's account might help you receive your first credit card at a young age, the minimum age to apply for your credit card is 18. Applying for a loan as a young adult requires a cosigner or evidence of income. Those over 21 who want a card can do so independently—complete credit card applications with accuracy.

Every application needs personal information, including social security numbers, salary, and postal addresses. Intentional misrepresentation of material facts, such as financial status, may result in legal consequences.

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