Not having a credit card in your twenties isn’t completely bad, and it isn’t completely good. Some analysts may say that not having a credit card at this time period is bad because you aren’t building up the necessary credit in order to propel you forward in your financial future. Other students your age are garnering financial literacy and credit clout that will allow them to have access to low-interest credit cards that can help them purchase luxury items, if they exhibit financial discipline, prompt bill payments and pay attention to their financial history.
Your credit score is also important when it comes to buying a new car or getting a new home mortgage. There isn’t much you can do in America without a valid credit card and a decent credit card history, and the only way to build that number up is through using a credit card and showing the credit card issuers that you are worthy of borrowing and repaying large amounts.
The good news is that it’s not too late for you. You’re only in your twenties, and that means that you are not to far behind the curve. Most young adults get their first checking account and debit card at around 17, before the Credit CARD Act of 2009, any one could get a credit card as long as they were 18 and up. Now, young consumers have a different fate. The Credit CARD Act of 2009 made it so that credit card companies can’t specifically market their credit cards to consumers under the age of 21. If they do so, they will be in violation of the act.
Because credit cards and credit were so common, young consumers easily found themselves wading in debt — the CARD Act hopes to counteract that. Being in your twenties and not having a credit card means that you have no credit card debt. Even though you may have student loan or medical debt, the less debt the better, and having no credit card debt is a good thing. This is good news as the consumers in your age bracket are on average $4,000 in debt by the time they graduate college, assuming you are under 24.
If you haven’t applied for a credit card try a student credit card if you are enrolled in college, if not try a credit card with a low spending limit and/or a rewards gas credit card that you use specifically at the gas station.