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Credit Card Options for Young Adults Under 21

Use These Tips for Young Adults to Get and Manage a Credit Card

Going off to college? You’ll likely have increased spending habits and limited on-hand cash flow. A credit card can help you finance the purchases you need to make while helping you build your credit score for future borrowing. However, it can be difficult for young adults under 21 to obtain a credit card since they have little-to-no borrowing history, and as such, a low credit score. If you need to increase your spending power, check out the tips below to get access to the funds you need and boost your credit.

Apply for Credit on Your Own

If you are able to demonstrate an ability to repay a credit card through proof of income, and have some credit history established (by making student loan payments on time, for example), you may have enough credit to apply for a card on your own. Young adults must submit credit card applications in writing through the mail or online. They are not able to apply for a new Card over the phone. These requirements are part of the Credit CARD Act of 2009 which is intended to protect young adults against the unforeseen consequences of too much debt.

Ask a Parent to Add You to Their Account

While American Express does not allow parents to co-sign credit cards for young adults under 21, parents can add children under 21 to their account as an Authorized User. Additionally, parents have the ability to set a customized limit on the Card for children over 15.

Ask a Parent to Co-Sign a Card with You

If you are under 21, you may ask a parent or other adult to co-sign for certain credit cards. However, American Express does not accept co-signers.

Manage Spending Wisely to Improve Your Ability to Get a Credit Card Under 21

Before applying for a credit or charge card, young adults can familiarize themselves with tips to build credit from Jean Chatzky". Additionally, the American Express Financial Education provides important information to help you better understand, maintain and improve your credit profile.