How to Build Credit When You Are 17

Credit is one of the most important foundations of any individual’s personal financial planning. A line of credit allows you lots of leverage to purchase items and make investment choices such as taking out a mortgage to purchase a home. Building up a superior credit history should ideally start as early as possible. Even if you are very young, you can still build up a good credit history that will allow you the freedom to achieve your long-term financial goals.

Find a part-time job and hold it for at least a year. A part-time job has several advantages. it will allow you demonstrate that you are capable of meeting the expectations of employers and earning a steady paycheck. Creditors look upon long-term jobholders with great favor.

Open up a bank account. Many banks will allow adolescents to open up bank accounts in their own names. Check carefully with the bank first. Banks vary in the amount of money required to open an account. Some banks may ask for a certain sum, such as $1,000, to open the account. Some banks may let you open accounts with lesser amounts, but may charge fees for services such as withdrawals and checking. A bank account will serve as collateral for credit and demonstrate that you are capable of saving money.

Apply for a debit card. A debit card differs from a credit card in that the money is immediately withdrawn from your account the minute you pay for an item. Debits cards are linked to bank accounts. Minors may apply for debit cards provided they have the funds. Consult with your bank for more information. Holding a debit card can demonstrate that you know how to stick with a budget.

Apply for a credit card with a parent as a guarantor. Credit card companies allow adolescents to have cards as long as they have parental permission.

Purchase inexpensive items on credit. Make small purchases (less than $100) with a credit card. Pay off the cost of the items each month when the bill comes due. This will show that you are capable of using credit and paying your bills on time.