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By Paul Brucker
Peek into the wallet of a Millennial and what are the odds that you’ll see a credit card? Merely 37%. That’s right: 63% of Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 do not own a single credit card while only 35% of those over age 30 lack one. Last year the credit scoring firm FICO reported that the number of young Americans without credit cards had doubled between 2007 and 2012.
What’s up with that? Here are some considerations:
So, should Millennials say “yes” to credit cards?
Some financial experts insist that it’s really in a Millennial’s long-term best interest to get and use a credit card. After all, possessing a credit card is not, in itself, a problem – the irresponsible use of one is. And paying with a credit card remains one of the key ways to build a solid credit score. Without a great credit score, you’ll have to pay higher rates for insurance policies, auto loans and mortgages. And you may even be denied a job because many employers do credit checks on prospective new hires. “Millennials need to approach a credit card as a way to make payments and pay off balances rather than a debt instrument,” says Bankrate reporter Jeanine Skowronski
What about the Millennials who do use credit cards?
About 40% of young adults with credit cards pay their full balance each month, compared to 53% of people over the age of 30. And 3% of Millennials say they often skip paying their monthly bills completely. “This is likely because they are using the credit card as a way to pay for things they couldn’t otherwise afford, when they should be using it as a credit building tool,” notes Skowronski.
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