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You Have to Be 18 to Get a Credit Card, But...

August 1, 2018

 

My eight-year-old is curious and precocious. Those who know him best would say that my opener is an understatement, particularly those who have engaged him in a conversation about the digestive system, HTML, or nimbus clouds.

 

For good or for ill, I determined early on as a parent that I will do everything I can to provide my children with straight answers and never dismiss them by telling them that they shouldn't worry about such things. I want them to ask questions and often. So I need to give answers.

 

Recently, this same eight-year-old asked me how old he needed to be to obtain a credit card. Naturally, I thought 18. I wasn't wrong, but I was in doubt that it was that simple and promised him that I would follow up with a more complete answer later.

 

Thank you, Latoya Irby, for clarifying the exception that I knew existed. As Irby explains, kids can become authorized users of their parents' cards before becoming adults. I'll let her do the explaining and recommend that you click through to her article to learn more.

 

Now—because I'm an honest father—I have to go tell my son that there is a loophole that he can pester me about for the next 10 years while I consistently reject his every plea. Ignorance is, indeed, bliss.

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