How Old do You have to Be to Get a Credit Card?

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There is a first time for everything, and several new privileges and responsibilities accompany the teenage years. Within these years, you qualify for most things like the right to vote and a driver’s license. Aside from the social responsibilities that come with the teenage years, there are also financial perks like getting a bank account and a credit card.

You can start building your credit early to establish a solid financial standing. To do this, you’ll need to obtain a credit card. Unsure of the age requirement for getting a credit card? Let’s take a look at the age requirement of getting a credit card in Canada.

Eligible Age to Get a Credit Card in Canada

Generally, the minimum age to open a credit card in Canada as the primary account holder is 18. So basically, if you’re within the age range of 18 – 20, you’ll be able to obtain a credit card in Canada. This age range, however, comes with a strict verification requirement.

You must be able to show proof that you can independently repay whatever sum you borrow. That is, you must prove you have a steady income that comes with a salary, regular paychecks, commission checks, or income from investments. The good thing is once you clock age 21, these rules will no longer apply to you, although your issuer will still review your income.

You have to be at least 18 years old before you can be eligible to open a credit card account in your name but, you can still be an authorizer user on someone else’s account if you’re below 18.

Getting a Credit Card at Age 18

You can get a credit card as soon as you clock age 18; getting approval might pose difficult as you’ll need a credit history and credit scores. And since this is your first credit card, you might likely not have a credit history. Without a credit history, it is unlikely that you’ll have a credit score.

If you’re unable to secure your first credit card, you can try getting a secured credit card. These types of credit cards are designed for people with no or damaged credit. You’ll need to put a down payment to open this account – it must be a cash deposit.

A secured credit card has a minimum deposit requirement of CA$200 – $500, depending on the card type. Hence, your credit limit is usually equal to your deposit. Note that most secured card issuers permit users to deposit more money to get a higher credit line.

Getting a Credit Card before 18

Generally, you can not open a credit card in Canada in your name until you turn 18 years old. However, there are some alternatives you can use to get access to a credit card account.

If you’re below the age of 18 and need access to a credit card, you’ll have to become an authorized user on someone else’s account. You must be at least within age 13 and 16 to become an authorized user in Canada.

An authorized user is an external body added by a primary cardholder to a credit card. Once the person is added to the card, he/she has the right to use the card. An authorized user usually gets a credit card with their name on it. However, their payment and card activities are posted to the primary cardholder’s account.

Note that once you add someone as an authorized user on your card, you are responsible for payments initiated by the person. Hence, it is crucial for the primary cardholder and the authorized user to set expectations and limitations on how much can be utilized and who’ll be making payments.

Being an authorized user has its perks, as you’ll be able to benefit from the primary cardholder’s good credit. This is possible since the primary cardholder’s account history and activities are reported on your credit report, helping you build your credit experience.

Note that not all credit issuers report the primary cardholder’s account history and activities on the authorized user’s account. So you might want to consider your options.

Conclusion

The minimum age eligibility for a credit card in Canada is 18 – 21 years of age. This age range depends on the province you reside in in Canada. Aside from your age, you must also be a resident of Canada.

It is advisable to get and start using a credit card early to build your credit. However, ensure you’re financially stable enough to use it responsibly.

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Avid researcher, freelance writer, and personal finance enthusiast passionate about financial education and literacy.

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Kareena Maya

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Kareena Maya is a freelance writer focused on the personal finance and travel spaces. He frequently writes about credit cards, banking, student loans, insurance, travel rewards and more. His work has been featured in publications such as Forbes Advisor, Bankrate, Credit Karma, Finance Buzz, The Ascent and Student Loan Planner.

Kareena Maya is a freelance writer focused on the personal finance and travel spaces. He frequently writes about credit cards, banking, student loans, insurance, travel rewards and more. His work has been featured in publications such as Forbes Advisor, Bankrate, Credit Karma, Finance Buzz, The Ascent and Student Loan Planner.