How to get a credit card as a minor?

To my understanding, to get a credit card as a minor I would have to be 18 or I would have to be on an account with one of my parents. Unfortunately for me my parents don’t have good credit. I have a job and would like to buy equipment for producing music at home and it would be easier for me to pay for the equipment monthly, but I don’t want my parents’ credit restricting my ability to get a credit card. Is there anything that I can do?

2 thoughts on “How to get a credit card as a minor?

  1. quid

    I have a job and would like to buy equipment for producing music at home and it would be easier for me to pay for the equipment monthly

    I just want to address your contention that it would be easier to pay monthly, with an interest calculation. Lets say you get a credit card with a very reasonable rate of 12% and you buy $2,500 of equipment. A typical credit card minimum payment is interest charges + 1% of the principle.

    Month      Principle         Interest        Payment
     Jan         $2,500           $25.00         -$50.00
     Feb         $2,475           $24.75         -$49.50
     Mar         $2,450           $24.50         -$49.01
     Apr         $2,426           $24.26         -$48.51
     May         $2,401            etc

    You can see how this is going. You’ve paid nearly $200 to clear about $100 off your principle. Obviously paying the minimum payment will take forever to wipe out this debt. So you pay more, or maybe you get 0% interest for a while and take advantage of that.

    Paying $100 per month against $2,500 at 12% per year will take 29 months and cost about $390 in interest. At $200 per month it’ll take 14 months and cost $184 in interest. Also note, you’ll probably get an interest rate closer to 16 or 17%.

    It’s always easier to pay small amounts frequently than it is to pay a lot of money all at once, that ease has a cost. If you’re buying the gear to start a little business, or you already have a little business going and want to upgrade some gear, great; disciplined debt handling is a wonderful skill to have in business. If you want to start yourself in to a new hobby, you should not do that with debt.

    If interest rates are low enough financing something can make sense. 0.9% apr on a car, sure; 15% apr on a mixing board, no. Credit card interest rates are significant and really should not be trifled with.

  2. Michael

    In general, minors cannot enter into legally binding contracts
    which is what credit accounts are — so an individually held card is
    probably not an option for you right now.

    You will not be approved for a credit card because you are minor. The only option credit card wise for you is for your parents to add you on as an authorized user onto their accounts. The upside is that you and your parents can work out a monthly payment for the amount you spend on your equipment, the downside is that if your parents don’t pay their credit card bill, your credit score/report can be negatively affected. (This also depends on the bank, however, all the banks I bank with report monthly payment activities on authorized users’ credit reports as well. There might be a bank that doesn’t.)

    In terms of credit cards, there is nothing you can do. What you could do as the comments have suggested is either save up money for the equipment you want, or buy something cheaper.

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