Millennials Give Credit Cards the Cold Shoulder
Life + Money

Millennials Give Credit Cards the Cold Shoulder

Although credit card use is an important tool in building a credit profile as a consumer, a large portion of young adults are just saying no to plastic, according to a new poll from

More than a third of 18 to 29-year-olds have never had a credit card, the survey found. “Millennials’ financial views were forged during the Great Recession and in the apocalyptic job market that they and their friends have faced,” senior analyst Matt Schulz said in a statement. “That skittishness has pushed them away from credit cards [and] toward debt and prepaid cards.”

Related: What to Know Before Your Teen Gets a Credit Card

The average age at which those polled think people should get their own credit cards was 22.

The 2009 CARD ACT placed strict limitations on marketing and issuing credit cards to young adults. That’s when the welcome mat for credit card reps and salespeople at college campuses was yanked back.

Consumers younger than 21 must now show proof of income or have an adult co-signer in order to open a card in their own name.

The survey found that 47 percent of credit cardholders got their first card before age 21 (although many did so prior to the passage of the CARD Act), and 68 percent had their own card by 25.

Related: The Wealthiest Americans Choose Cash-Back Credit Cards

Having a credit card at an early age – and paying it off regularly – can help build a strong credit profile. However, for many Americans, having a credit card means living with debt.

The average household owes about $7,300 in credit card payments, according to NerdWallet. As high as that may seem, it’s about half of what is owed in student loans.

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