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Kutcher gives credit card advice

By Janna Herron ·
Monday, August 8, 2011
Posted: 2 pm ET

The new star of "Two and a Half Men" doled out simple, but sound financial advice for young Americans.

"Don't ever charge anything on a credit card if you don't already have the money in the bank to pay for it," said Ashton Kutcher on Sunday night after receiving the 2011's Teen Choice Award for Best Male Romantic Comedy actor for his role in "No Strings Attached."

The advice comes at the right time. August is the most popular month for students to apply for a credit card, according to a 2011 survey by Student Monitor. And not just college students.

The same survey found that seven in 10 students got their first credit card at 18 years old or younger. More than half received their card before starting college. New regulations that went into place last year stipulate that consumers under 21 must have a co-signor or proof of income to get a credit card.

Mr. Kutcher's statement also touches on a fine point: Credit is not inherently bad. Using it unwisely is. And when it comes to younger consumers, a slipup may hurt more.

"For anyone with short credit history and a thin file, like one or two accounts, your credit behavior is going to become even more critical than if you have longer history," says Barry Paperno, consumer operations manager at

So one missed payment may drag down your credit score a lot more than if you had a more robust credit history that included a mortgage, several credit cards and an auto loan.

The more specific advice offered by Paperno is No. 1: Pay off your balance every month. That way you don't get in over your head with a runaway balance. No. 2: Don't get close to your credit limit. That, too, will help you stay within your means.

By the way, in case some of Kutcher's fans didn't take his message to heart the first time, Demi Moore's other half reiterated on his Twitter feed last night saying, "Thank you all for the award and the love! And I'm serious about thy credit card thing. #tca."

Follow me on Twitter: @JannaHerron

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October 05, 2011 at 12:04 am

Uhh..Jake? Dude.....Read it and weep:
Kutcher, who is playing heartbroken Internet billionaire Walden Schmidt in the show, will earn $7,00,000 per episode ($15.4 million for the season)

Yeah..just a dumb gigolo....(What have Demi and Bruce been earning lately???)

October 03, 2011 at 6:56 pm

He has invested in a lot of new ventures. He actually got in a little trouble for having a number of company logos (Foursquare, Twitter) on the laptop he was using in Two and a Half Men because he is an investor in all those companies. CBS announced they would blur the logos in all future episodes and reruns.

September 30, 2011 at 7:43 am

I do believe Law is correct. Kutcher is very savvy at business and marketing, more savvy than he is at acting (which he says himself). He'll probably never be a Clooney type leading man, but keep you eye on him as a producer, financier and a nurturer of ideas and talent. If you think he's dumb, remember that on TV (even in interviews), that's the actor/comedian.

August 19, 2011 at 7:26 pm

Jake - Yes, he is a financial mogul. He's considered one of the hottest venture capitalists to watch right now.

He is not living off anyone's money but his own. That guy is soon on his way to half a billion dollars - that HE made.

August 16, 2011 at 4:21 pm

So Mr. Kutcher is a financial mogul? Dude..he is living off of Bruce Willis and Demi Moore's money. Kutcher must be in dire need of money if he took the Two and a Half Men job.