Credit cards

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-05-2005
Credit cards
Thu, 08-02-2012 - 9:53am

Hi everyone - don't know if this has been addressed before, but I'd love any advice on how to get dd19 a credit card. Dd21 never had one during college (and if you've read some of my previous posts, you know why!!) but she just applied for her first through our bank and will likely get it since she has a stable, decent-paying job. Now, dd19 is obviously younger than many college seniors, and doesn't have much in the way of a job/bank account. She is currently interning at a recruiting firm and will continue working for them long-distance about 10 hours a week when she returns to college. After she graduates in May, she is pursuing several areas that may take her away from home (TFA, consulting, etc) and it would certainly be a good thing to have a credit card or some credit history. We talked about it this week - it feels like she just started college and now we're looking at graduation!  I can add her to my credit cards, but that won't necessarily help her credit rating, right? How tough is it to get cards like Target or Sears? Are any of the major credit cards easier than others? I have complete faith in her - she is very, very organized and responsible and extremely cautious and frugal, so I am happy to co-sign if needed (not sure if that even applies to credit cards??).  Any advice is appreciated. I just realized that she may need to get things like a car or apartment before she even gets her first paycheck if she is far from home and I'm worried that it may be tough for her.


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-30-2003
Thu, 08-02-2012 - 10:03am

18 year old dd has one through our credit union. 

It's a secured card with a $500 limit.  The $500 is in a savings acct.  We did NOT co-sign for her credit card (dh's brother has gotten into trouble using them).  The bill is coming here- since dd isn't really paying for it.  Yet.  She did get about $75 worth of stuff for her dorm room and I'm not sure if I'm going to ask her for a check or not.  And then she's used it for little things around here. 

I haven't seen any mis-use of it yet. The only reason she got one is because dh likes using them.  We have one that gets paid off every single month.  2 more of them have balances on them- balances were from some big-ticket things.  Like the $2500 violin we got her for graduation (the only thing she asked for, and had been asking to have for years)  And it is easier to carry that around instead of cash. 


iVillage Member
Registered: 01-07-2004
Thu, 08-02-2012 - 11:28am
Good question. Neither one of my girls have a credit card yet. My younger dd is like yours....very frugal and responsible with money. I wouldn't worry too much about her. Older dd likes to spend. She went for a year without a job while she was in grad school and lived off her savings and grant money. I wonder if she'd go crazy spending with a credit card. We have credit card debt that I wish wasn't there. We've tried to instill in the girls if they get a card to use it and pay it off monthly. The secured card sounds like a good way to start.
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-19-2006
Thu, 08-02-2012 - 4:10pm
Good question. I got my son a card on my account when he left for school last year. He travels to and from school via airplane so I figured he needed it. He has used it several times for things that we approved and he has also used it for personal things that weren't exactly on the top of my list, but he always pays us back with his own money when he does that so I don't say anything. We don't have any credit card debt ourselves, but I feel like he doesn't have a good idea what he is spending when he just swipes a card to get what he wants. I think it is almost impossible to completely understand that you are spending money when you don't write a check or hand over cash. I think I like the idea of getting him his own card with a spending max so that he sees the bills and understands better that he is spending money. He is not a big spender, but I don't think he fully appreciates the sost of the few extras he buys for himself. Robin
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Thu, 08-02-2012 - 6:54pm

I was thinking that with the changes in the new credit card rules a couple of years ago, they made it harder for people under 21 to get their own cards, or maybe they only said that students under 21 couldn't be solicited for cards directly by the banks.  I would try a joint acct. but one that only she uses and then she could also show that she made all the payments from her acct.  From what I know of stores, it seems that once you have a major credit card in your name, stores will give you a store card without much checking of your credit.  But then again, you can't use the store cards for that much.  IN the past, I have found getting a card from Sears was difficult even for me.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-26-1999
Fri, 08-03-2012 - 3:19am
Sears was my first credit card eons ago, and also my younger dd's first credit card as well. She actually bought a big screen TV with it (totally frivolous when she was in college! but water under the bridge...), and it was actually an "everything" credit card, in other words it worked like a Visa. That is and was a risky proposition. Got her in a lot of debt! However, she is learning from her mistakes and budgeting now. The bottom line - it wasn't hard to get at all, at least a few years ago.

                        Calmama54, from the beautiful

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-05-2005
Fri, 08-03-2012 - 8:20am

I was thinking that with the changes in the new credit card rules a couple of years ago, they made it harder for people under 21 to get their own cards

Yep, you were right. I looked this up and :

The Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009  prevents credit card issuers from issuing cards to underage consumers unless the  applicant has a co-signer or can show "an  independent means of repaying any obligation."

So, I guess we'll have to co-sign/put her as an authorized user,  or go for the secured credit card. I had heard about the new law but apparently I didn't pay enough attention!