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The (Second) Big C

A Bankrate Study released in 2016 found that 67 percent of Millennials don’t have credit cards While we all known how someone can get into trouble through the misuse of credit cards, they are a valuable financial tool when used responsibly. Responsible use leads to good credit scores, which are needed for home loans and small business financing. According to the free credit score checker, Credit Karma, credit scores are influenced by the “age of credit”. Having more responsible and timely “experience” with your credit card can in fact help your score.

It’s easy to understand why Millennials feel the way they do about credit cards after experiencing the 2008 financial crisis. But the lack of a credit score might not only inhibit someone’s ability to buy a home, it can also impact getting an apartment lease, signing up for utilities, or even pursuing that dream job.

"Millennials are clearly falling short in terms of credit card usage compared to their elders," said Mike Cetera, Bankrate.com’s personal loans and credit analyst. Cetera also stated, "A credit card shouldn’t be seen as taboo. Used correctly, a credit card can not only provide the added benefit of points and rewards, but also help establish a healthy credit score which will be valuable for such things as a lease or mortgage in the future."

One way to help today’s young people understand the pros and cons of credit is through education.  High school parents and students should be relieved to know that Junior Achievement offers JA    Personal Finance®, which covers the basic principles of expenses, earnings, savings, and even understanding credit scores!

To learn more about Junior Achievement’s JA Personal Finance Program:  Click HERE.

Mukherjee, S. (2016, June 13). Only 64% of Millennials Own Credit Cards. Retrieved September 18, 2017, from http://fortune.com/2016/06/13/millennials-dont-own-credit-cards

Goldstein, M. (2017, January 24). How long does it take to build a healthy credit score? Retrieved September 18, 2017, from https://www.creditkarma.com/article/age-of-credit-history

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