The Junior Achievement (JA) organization and The Allstate Foundation recently conducted a poll of 1,065 teenagers and found that teens are establishing credit at an early age.
Eleven percent of teens have credit cards in their names. The percentage increases with age, with 6.2 percent owning credit cards at ages 13-14 and 21 percent at age 18 and up. Employment also increases the percentage of teens who own their own credit cards. 16 percent of employed teens compared to 7 percent without jobs hold credit cards. 82 percent of teens with credit cards polled indicated that they pay their monthly balances in full. One third of the teens said they have a checking account, while three quarters have money set aside in a savings account.
Jan Epstein, executive director of The Allstate Foundation noted:
"Understanding credit is important for all individuals and essential for one's financial stability. Bad credit can prevent an individual from getting a job or renting an apartment. Good credit, on the other hand, can do the opposite, opening doors when one's ready to buy a house or car, borrow money and more."
Dr. Darrell Luzzo, senior vice president of education for JA Worldwide, adds:
“Teens are working, banking and spending in ever-increasing numbers. Given the widespread use of credit by teens, the need is greater than ever to educate students starting at an early age about responsible budgeting and the importance of saving, investing, and wise spending practices. This need is being addressed by JA's latest program for middle grade students, JA Economics for Success. Hopefully, not only will teens use the credit and banking resources available to them, but prove to be more financially savvy and independent than previous generations.”
For more information about this particular study, please visit the Junior Achievement website.