Credit Cards

Should 18 year olds get Credit Cards?

Credit cards are not something that everyone can get as there are criteria for being able to take on out and age is one of these. You do need to be eighteen years old before you have one. However, is eighteen years too young to have one still? There are some things that it is worth thinking about if you are this age and considering getting a credit card.

Income

When lenders decide whether to give you a credit card they will look at your income to see if they think that you can afford it. However, this does not mean that you should ignore when you are considering whether you should take out a card or not. Have a think about whether you think that you are earning enough to be able to afford the repayments on the card. Consider not only whether you could afford the minimum repayment but also whether you could afford to repay the bill in full. This is important because if you can pay it all off each month it will not cost you anything.

Spending

It is worth thinking hard about the way that you spend money. Some of us will just spend normally if we have a credit card. For example just buying all of the things that we normally would but putting them on the card instead and then we can get a bit of interest free credit before we pay off the full balance. It is easy to set up a direct debit to repay the full balance of the loan each month and so this is something which is very achievable for many people.

Some people see the credit card as a nice chunk of money that they can spend on themselves though. They use it to buy themselves things that they would not normally be able to afford. This means that when they get the bill, they do not have the money available to pay it. They may feel fine about this because they have bought themselves some nice things. However, once they have paid a few months’ worth of interest and almost forgotten what it was they bought with the money, they may feel a bit different about the credit card. It may start to become a burden, especially if they find things that they wished they had bought with it but now cannot buy anything until it is paid off.

Future income and spending

It is also worth thinking about the future and what income you might have then. There are all sorts of things that you might need to buy, particularly if you decide to buy a home and have a family. You might not want to risk having a lot of debt. You may trust yourself to be wise with the credit card and not get into debt and so this might not be an issue, but you need to really give it some thought. If you are likely to spend too much and run up a debt, then it could be wise to avoid the cad as it could have a negative impact on your credit record and mean that you go into the future with debts that you cannot pay.

Any previous debt experience

It is worth thinking about any previous experiences you have had of debt. If you have been in debt yourself you will know how it feels and know how likely it is to happen again. If you have seen other people with debt this will also impact you. If you have seen people struggling to get out of debt then this could put you off wanting to get into debt yourself. However, if you have seen people enjoying getting into debt and being able to throw money around, this could lead you into debt and may not have a good impact on your future.

So if you are young and considering a credit card, then you have a lot of thinking to do before you decide. Think about how you would manage to pay off the card and what sorts of things you would be using it for. Consider whether you will be likely to be sensible with the card and draw upon your experiences of debt to decide whether you think that it would be a good idea for you to have one. It is likely that your card will start with a small credit limit, which should help you to keep in control of it better, but you still need to be careful. If you are a parent of an 18 year old, then it is natural that you might be worried about your child having a credit card at such a young age. It is wise to make sure that you talk to them about it and try to help them to spend wisely on it so that they will not get into lots of debt.

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