Q: What are the credit card options for someone under twenty-one years old?
I'm only 19, have limited credit, and want to have a credit card for emergencies. What are my options?
The Credit CARD Act of 2009 prevents credit card issuers from giving a credit card to anyone under twenty-one unless the applicant has proof of enough income to repay a debt. But there are still a few options for you.
Would one of your parents agree to cosign on a credit card for you? If one of your parents has a good credit history, this could provide you with the credit card you seek for emergencies. Another option is to ask to become an authorized user on one of your parent's credit cards.
If these aren't options for you, you can consider a prepaid debit card. But these cards can come with a host of fees. Since you're interested in a credit card for emergency purposes, you're better off opening a savings account and building your own emergency fund. Be diligent about paying rent and all other bills on time. Showing that you can stay on top of your bills will help you get a credit card when you turn twenty-one years old.
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