36% of Millennials Have Never Had a Credit Card

Most Americans Think People Should Have a Credit Card by Age 22

Apr 15, 2015, 08:35 ET from CreditCards.com

AUSTIN, Texas, April 15, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- More than one in three 18-29 year-olds have never had a credit card, according to a new CreditCards.com report. The survey also asked when Americans believe someone should get their first credit card in their own name; the average response was age 22 and the median was 21.

"Millennials' financial views were forged during the Great Recession and in the apocalyptic job market that they and their friends have faced. That skittishness has pushed them away from credit cards towards debit and prepaid cards," said Matt Schulz, CreditCards.com's senior analyst. "As their careers advance and the economy continues to improve, I expect millennials to transition to credit cards in search of greater rewards and consumer protections."

One-third of Americans say 18-20 year-olds should have their own credit cards, plus 3% who think it's okay for people under age 18 to have their own cards. Hispanics are the most likely to favor credit cards for people under age 21.

The 2009 CARD Act placed strict limitations on marketing and issuing credit cards to young adults. Consumers younger than 21 must show proof of income to repay card loans or have an adult co-signer if they want accounts in their own names.

  • 47% of credit cardholders got their first card before age 21 (many of these people did so prior to the CARD Act) and 68% signed up before age 25.
  • There is a sharp divide between rural and urban/suburban Americans. Just 46% of rural residents say someone should get their first credit card before age 25, versus 70% of urban/suburban residents.
  • 9% of rural Americans say people should never sign up for a credit card (compared with 2% of urbanites/suburbanites).

The survey was conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International (PSRAI) and can be seen in its entirety here:


PSRAI obtained telephone interviews with a nationally representative sample of 1,000 adults living in the continental United States. Interviews were conducted by landline (500) and cell phone (500, including 288 without a landline phone) in English and Spanish by Princeton Data Source from April 1-4, 2015. Statistical results are weighted to correct known demographic discrepancies. The margin of sampling error for the complete set of weighted data is plus or minus 3.6 percentage points.

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For More Information:
Ted Rossman 
Public Relations Director 

SOURCE CreditCards.com