People who don’t have any credit cards are basically “credit invisible,” said Jeff Golding, CEO of WilliamPaid, a Chicago company that allows people to build credit through paying their rent online. “While they may have a good job, a solid income and pay all their bills on time, no one knows that.”
McCarthy’s attitude about credit cards is akin to that of a large percentage of Millennials - more than one in three 18- to 29-year-olds have never had a credit card, according to a CreditCards.com report.
Their outlook on obtaining credit and debt is not surprising, since they were “forged during the Great Recession and in the apocalyptic job market that they and their friends have faced,” said Matt Schulz, a senior analyst for CreditCards.com, an Austin, Texas, credit card comparison company. “That skittishness has pushed them away from credit cards towards debit and prepaid cards.”
Since the CARD Act was passed in 2009, it placed strict limitations on marketing and issuing credit cards to young adults. Consumers who are younger than 21 must demonstrate their proof of income to be able to pay the debt incurred on card loans.
“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,” Schulz says.
The survey also asked when Americans believe someone should get their first credit card in their own name, and the average response was age 22. One-third of Americans say 18- to 20-year-olds should have their own credit cards.