If you are a parent, you may have given your child’s future plenty of thought, including their future finances. Well, what if your child could benefit from your excellent credit? It is possible. Adding your kids as authorized credit card users can have positive effects on their future and also negative ones. So can children become authorized credit card users? Here’s what you need to know.
Can Children Become Authorized Credit Card Users?
The internet holds many answers, and you may have seen a few on social media with claims stating you can add your 6-year-old child as an authorized credit card user. While such statements may not be entirely accurate, they hold some truths. Here’s how your child can become an authorized user on your credit card account.
Do Banks Allow Kids as Authorized Credit Cards Users?
To begin with, not all banks allow children to be authorized users on an adult’s credit card. Different banks have different policies and age restrictions that may or may not forbid minors from becoming authorized users of a credit card account. If you have considered adding your child as an authorized credit card user, we advise you to contact your card issuer (bank) directly to confirm their age policy.
It is essential to know there is no universal law or policy that banks need to follow when it comes to age restrictions on authorized credit cardholders. It varies by bank issuers. However, to qualify for a credit account in your name, you must be 18 or older. U.S. Bank, for example, requires an authorized user to be at least 13 years of age. The minimum age for Discover Bank is 15. Additionally, Discover Bank reports all authorized user activity to credit bureaus.
The Benefits of Adding Your Child as An Authorized User
Along with the internet rumors about adding your 6-year-old as an authorized credit card user, there are multiple claims about its positive impact. Most all surrounding the topic of building your child a positive credit history so that once they turn 18, they can have a better advantage to qualify for good-rate loans and more. The benefits of adding your child as an authorized credit card user include the following:
- Building a positive credit for your kids
- Educational opportunity to teach your kids about finances
- Maximize your credit card rewards by earning extra
The benefits above are good reasons to add your child as an authorized user on your credit card. If you’re in it only to affect your child’s future credit history, then be aware that not all banks will report a minor’s authorized user account to the credit bureaus. For example, Chase Bank does not declare the credit history of children who are authorized credit card users. In contrast, Wells Fargo does not have a universal age restriction for authorized users. Additionally, Wells Fargo reports all authorized credit card user information to the credit bureaus (according to USA Today).
In addition, adding your kids as authorized users on your credit card can be an educational opportunity. Use it to give your children a hands-on experience to teach them about finances. It’s a great way to teach children how to budget and save money in conjunction with healthy financial habits and financial responsibility. Lastly, maximize your credit card rewards when you add your child as an authorized user. As the primary holder, you will earn credit card rewards for your child’s credit card purchases.
Best Age To Add a Child as an Authorized User
According to Andrea Clark, owner of The Table Financial Planning and an advisor bureau member of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors, the teen years are best to add your child as an authorized user (source). Furthermore, adding your child as an authorized user can also harm their credit if you factor in late payments, bankruptcy, etc. There is no need to begin your kid’s credit journey at the age of 6. Instead, opt to start between the ages of
13 to 15, which is enough time to establish a good credit history on your child’s report.
Related Article: Family Finances – 5 Lessons to Teach Your Kids About Credit Cards