At What Age Can You Start Building Credit?

When it comes to your credit, having a good credit score is so important. It is important for a number of reasons, and it can help you when it comes to being accepted for a mortgage, and taking out loans. 

Credit takes a good amount of time to build up, which can be frustrating and disheartening for many people. As a result, it is only natural to wonder what the earliest age you can start building up your credit.

After all, the earlier you can increase your credit score, the more benefits this will have for you in the future. 

In this article, we will be discussing this in more detail. We will be talking you through what credit is and why having good credit is important.

What Is Credit?

Before we start discussing the ages in which you can begin to gain credit, it is important to have a good understanding of what credit is.

Credit is essentially what allows you to borrow money or pay for goods and services and pay this back over a set amount of time.

There are many different types of credit, from credit cards, to loans and mortgages. Some stores will even offer credit options. The creditors are the people responsible for loaning you the money to pay for what you cannot currently afford to pay for outright.

The agreement is that they will lend the money, and over a course of time, you are responsible for paying this money back.

Given that these methods are used to obtain expensive purchases, such as cars or houses, it is only natural that creditors want proof that a person can pay this money back.

Why Is Having Good Credit Important?

When you take into consideration that creditors will only tend to approve credit when you can prove that your credit lending history is good, it is easy to see why having credit is important.

If you have bad credit, or no credit at all, this emphasizes to lenders that you may not be capable of paying the credit back they have given to you.

Lenders want to ensure that a person is reliable and that they will receive the correct amount of credit repayments on the correct dates.

There are a number of different things that can affect your credit, such as the types of loans you have, and the amount of loans you have.

While loans are a great way of building credit, while you are paying them off, this can affect what money can be borrowed.

At What Age Can You Start Building Credit?

When it comes to building your credit, you will want to do this as early as possible. The faster you build up your credit, the more successful and higher your credit score will be.

While some people assume that you need to be an adult to start building credit, this is not actually true.

To have access to credit cards and loans, you need to legally be 18 years of age. This is the earliest age where you can really begin to improve and build your credit.

By applying for a credit card at this age, you can begin to show creditors that you are able to borrow money and pay it back suitably.

At the age of 18 a child can apply for a student credit card, but must prove that they have a regular source of income that can cover the costs incurred on the credit card through the repayments each month.

We would always recommend making small transactions that you know you can pay off at the end of each month. This will then allow you to keep up with the repayments and emphasize that you are capable of doing this.

Even so, parents can help their children to build up their credit before they turn 18. While they cannot take out loans or credit cards for their children, they can do this by helping to build up their credit report.

Building up a credit report for a child is fairly easy to do if you are in a position where you have a good credit history yourself. Here are a few ways in which this can be done.

Adding A Child To Your Credit Card

If you are reliable at paying back your credit card payments, adding your child to your credit card will have a positive impact on them.

It allows them to essentially benefit from the good credit that you have, just by having their name on it. As they are not the person responsible for these payments, this is possible to do.

They will be an authorized user, but you are the person responsible for the payments.

This is also a great way of teaching children about spending habits, and how the credit card repayment system works.

Co-Signing A Loan

When your child is 16, legally they can have a used car loan, to help them purchase a car.

While it can be possible for them to pay for this themselves, it is a better option to co-sign a loan with yourself. This helps to ensure that the payments are regular, and it will also improve your child’s credit.

Co-signing is also useful for apartment rentals too. Many renters need to have proof that someone will be able to provide the payments for them if they are not able to themselves.

Over time, as they start paying off loans, this will increase their credit score.

Summary

As you can see, technically the age you can really start building credit on your own is 18. However, with the help of parents or guardians, a child can actually start building up their credit from a younger age. 

There are risks attached to this, which is why a person should be sure that they can keep up with the repayments. If they cannot, this will not only affect their credit, but it will have a negative effect on the children’s credit too. 

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