Credit Cards

Credit Cards For 17 Year Old

Credit Cards For 17 Year Old

Are you 17 years old and looking to take your first steps towards financial independence? A credit card could be the tool you need to make this transition. But, can a 17-year-old really get a credit card in their own name? In this article, we help you navigate the world of credit cards for 17-year-olds and teach you the steps to take while making this crucial decision.

Can a 17-Year-Old Get a Credit Card?

Technically, no. Federal law prohibits individuals under the age of 18 from obtaining a credit card in their own name. However, there are options available for 17-year-olds to access credit:

1. Become an Authorized User

One way to access credit as a minor is by becoming an authorized user on a parent or guardian's credit card. With this option, you can learn how to handle credit responsibly while building your credit history under the supervision of an adult.

2. Joint Credit Card Account

Another possibility is opening a joint credit card account with an adult co-signer. This enables you to share the responsibility of the account and make purchases with the credit card. However, keep in mind that both parties are responsible for the debt incurred on the account.

3. Secured Credit Cards

Although unsecured credit cards are generally not available for individuals under 18, some secured credit cards may be available for minors who can demonstrate financial responsibility. A secured card requires an initial deposit, which is usually equal to the credit limit of the card. This can be a great way to begin establishing your credit history while maintaining a controlled level of spending.

Advantages of Credit Cards for 17-Year-Olds

Despite the limitations, there are several advantages of having a credit card at the age of 17:

  • Learn to manage credit responsibly.
  • Build your credit history early.
  • Gain financial independence.
  • Convenience of making payments and online purchases.
  • Access to perks, such as rewards and cash back.

Disadvantages of Credit Cards for 17-Year-Olds

It's also important to be aware of the potential risks associated with credit card use:

  • Financial mismanagement can lead to debt.
  • Irresponsible spending habits can harm your credit score in the long run.
  • Not knowing the full implications of having a credit card, such as interest rates and fees.

Credit Cards For 17 Year Old Example:

Let's say you're a 17-year-old student looking to buy a new laptop for your studies and daily use. To make this purchase, you might need to access credit. Here's how you could use each option mentioned to make this purchase:

1. As an authorized user on your parent's credit card, you can charge the laptop to their account and agree to pay them back in a specified time frame. This allows you to use credit for the purchase while also learning good financial habits.

2. With a joint credit card account, you and a parent can purchase the laptop together. This means you both share responsibility for making the payment, which is a great way to learn financial responsibility.

3. If you have a secured credit card with a sufficient limit, you can make the purchase using the card and pay it off over time. This demonstrates financial responsibility while also helping to establish your credit history.

By now, you should have a better understanding of the options available for credit cards for 17-year-olds. Although there are certain limitations, getting a head start on using credit responsibly can help in building strong financial habits as you transition into adulthood. With this knowledge, you can decide whether incorporating a credit card into your life is the right choice for you.

Don't forget to share this article with your friends and fellow 17-year-olds who might benefit from this valuable information. Explore other guides on Flik Eco to master personal finance and investing at an early age.


About Jermaine Hagan (The Plantsman)

Jermaine Hagan, also known as The Plantsman is the Founder of Flik Eco. Jermaine is the perfect hybrid of personal finance expert and nemophilist. On a mission to make personal finance simple and accessible, Jermaine uses his inside knowledge to help the average Joe, Kwame or Sarah to improve their lives. Before founding Flik Eco, Jermaine managed teams across several large financial companies, including Equifax, Admiral Plc, New Wave Capital & HSBC. He has been featured in several large publications including BBC, The Guardian & The Times.

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