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Younger customers want credit

By Lucy Lazarony ·
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Posted: 10 am ET

When it comes to credit cards, younger consumers want more credit.

One-fifth of consumers under the age of 25 say they will open a new credit card account in 2011, according to a study by Auriemma Consulting Group, a firm based in New York that serves the financial services industry.

A new federal law has curtailed the marketing of credit cards to college students and young adults are less likely to already have a wallet full of cards, said Patricia Sahm, managing director at Auriemma Consulting Group in a press release.

The Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure, or CARD, Act prevents credit card issuers from giving a person between the age of 18 and 21 a credit card without a co-signer or proof of income or assets. This rule has been in place since Feb. 22, 2010, when the largest set of provisions from the CARD Act took effect.

The CARD Act also restricts the marketing of credit cards to college students. If you are under the age of 21, prescreened credit card offers may not be mailed to you unless you've opted in with the credit reporting agencies to receive such offers. And credit card marketers must stay at least 1,000 feet away from university campuses if they are offering students free T-shirts and other giveaways to entice students to sign up for credit cards.

If you're under the age of 21 and have a job, you may be able to qualify for a credit card on your own. The bank or credit union where you do your banking is a good place to start your card search. And if you're a college student, you may want to consider a credit card targeted to students.

If you don't have a job and you're under the age of 21, you may need some help opening a new credit card account. You could ask a parent to co-sign for a credit card with you or you could ask to be added to one of your parent's credit cards as an authorized user.

With a joint credit card account, you and your parent would share ownership of the account and both of you would be liable for repaying the debt.

As an authorized user, you would have access to your parent's credit card account, but you wouldn't be responsible for paying the bill.

Be sure to consider the pros and cons of sharing a credit card account carefully.

For more informationĀ on sharing a credit card account as a joint account holder or as an authorized user, check out this feature from Bankrate.

If you're over the age of 21 and on the lookout for a new credit card, these tips will help you choose a card that's right for your credit and your spending habits.

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