Got Credit? Many Millennials Don't

Editors' pick: Originally published Nov. 9.

Amanda Basse was denied the first three credit cards she applied for.

"I work in the hotel industry, and I couldn't get a credit card to book my own room," said the 31-year-old marketing coordinator and Florida resident, speaking to the irony.

Finally, after building up her credit through getting her own phone plan and paying bills on time, the valuable plastic came.

"I applied for a credit card nearly seven months later, and got approved," said Basse, who still only received a high rate - 27% ‑ card with only a $500 credit limit.

Many Millennials go through what Basse went through to get their first credit card, according to a study by ID Analytics. The numbers show 63% of Millennials don't have a credit card, even though they apply for credit cards at higher rates than Generation X-ers or Baby Boomers. The study found most are declined either because they don't have much of a credit history or because of low credit scores.

However, experts say that does not mean Millennials don't have options when looking for credit or to build credit.

"A person can start with a secured credit card," said Lori Askins, with credit repair and funding firm BR Finance Solutions. "These cards don't offer high spending limits, but they do help build credit.  They require collateral such as your bank account to be approved for this type of card."

Askins said another option would be to have someone — like a parent — add the Millennial as an authorized user to a credit card. 

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